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Getting a Survival Community Library Started
Your chickens egg shells are soft what do you need to do? Your group found some mushrooms are they poisonous? At what age can a child have ibuprofen and what dose can they have? Your trying to wire a group of solar panels together to supply power to a battery bank what wire goes to what terminal? All these questions can be answered by research in the community library. The survival community library is the back bone of any groups knowledge base. No matter how much knowledge the group can achieve is nothing compared to the amount of information that can be found in a library. The question is not if you should have one but, how to get yours started and what to put in it.
How to get started
Now that you have wisely decided to start a library for your community, you need to figure out where you are going to put it. When deciding the location of your library remember that you want to protect the knowledge that you are storing. So it important that you make sure the humidity and heat stay way from the books and electronics that make up your library. Also you want it easy for everyone in the community to access the library. If you have a computer network with a central server for your community that could also be stored in your library if space is available because, it has similar humidity and temperature needs as books. For these reasons I recommend building a structure for the library near the center of the community that is large enough to hold books, e-readers, a few computers, external hard drives, all your networking and communication equipment and a small space to read. This building is going to need adequate lighting, cooling and a way to regulate humidity. Heating is not a concern if you have a server, networking and communication equipment in the same building. The reason is those elections should put off enough heat to keep the building from freezing and depending on the amount and size of the equipment it might make it down right toasty inside.
What to put in your library
This is largely dependent on what the goals of your survival community are and what needs you foresee you may need to fill. I recommend making sure you have both physical and digital data in your library. The reasoning behind this is that it gives you a good back up. Depending on what is happening in the world digital data may not be available but, if it is working then a thousands of books can be stored on hard drives that take up less room then one physical book.
Where to get stuff for your library
Now is the hardest part of setting up a community library where to get the books and digital data to put into it. For the digital part of the information I recommend finding as much information and the widest verity of topics as you can. There are tons of places you can get files free online. The best type of files for this information is plain text or pdf. Almost all e-readers, tablets and computers can use these two formats but if you find a good resource in a different format still get it but make sure you have the necessary programs to read the files. As for the physical part of the library I recommend going to yard sales, thrift shops, used book stores, and library sales. A great source for free books is to check next to dumpsters and trash cans in college apartments and dorms it seems that when college kids can’t sell back there books they tend to throw them away.
This should get you started on your way to getting a survival community library started. I recommend working on this library as a group and not just having one member be responsible for the start up and set up of the library. If you are worried about duplicate books then you could make a list of books that the group has in the library and make sure the list is updated every time a book is added to the library.
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