What is the Nimble Tents Toolkit?

On September 19 and 20, Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the eastern Caribbean. On September 19 a major earthquake struck central Mexico. On September 22, a group of colleagues interested in helping out sat down at The Butler Library Studio at Columbia University in New York to plan an event to help emergency teams on the ground to have better maps. In 1 week, 3 other libraries and labs joined the effort. In 1 month, more than 20 libraries and labs had replicated the model. The verified, open source map for all of Puerto Rico was largely completed by this group effort. How was this done?

Universities and Colleges, and their Libraries and Digital Scholarship Labs in particular, have the latent capacity to gather quickly and react to the urgencies we can expect from the anthropocene and our vulnerable political landscapes: reams of good will, talent, space, colleague networks, communication and management lines, pedagogical wherewithal, computational savvy, and much more. The nimble tents toolkit provides timelines, instructions and sample materials to help your team and organization be as prepared as you can to address urgent challenges, both individually and as collectives.

If you would like to become a contributor send us a line, or contribute on our GitHub repository.