Recovering Together is a project of the NorthNet Library System (NLS). NorthNet represents 41 member libraries in Northern California across 29 counties. Over the past several years, multiple libraries in the NorthNet region have been forced to confront challenges posed by natural disasters. Devastating wildfires, floods, earthquakes and resulting evacuations have demonstrated the vital role that libraries play both as a public resource and foundation for community connection.

To better support libraries in Northern California and beyond, NLS has launched Recovering Together, an LSTA-grant-funded project to help the network learn more about how libraries have responded to natural disasters and helped their communities to recover in the months and years afterwards. The Recovering Together project is featuring ways that libraries have helped to rebuild their communities, highlighting the work of dedicated staff and volunteers throughout the NLS region who have shown leadership and resolve in the face of daunting challenges.


​Recovering Together was created with support from Common Knowledge Group and William Cooley. Common Knowledge helps organizations increase their capacity for positive community engagement through training, consulting services and culturally responsive field research and communications.

​​This project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.


To better understand disaster preparedness needs and experiences, NorthNet and Common Knowledge conducted a region-wide survey in the fall of 2019. The survey highlighted a wide range of ways that library staff and volunteers have supported their communities following a disaster. The survey report can be downloaded here.

The accompanying conversation guide builds on areas of need identified through the survey and is aimed at helping your library to be more prepared in the event of a community-wide disaster.