Librarians of the Apocalypse | Culture Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Culture » Culture Features

Librarians of the Apocalypse

End of the world as we "Know" it



Doomsday scenario 1: A mysterious and seemingly incurable virus has broken out in your region and presumably—because all lines of communication are indefinitely down—around the world. Urban areas have fallen to hordes of infected persons who appear to be hungry for live human flesh and impervious to death. The infection is extremely contagious and spreading quickly.

Doomsday scenario 2: An unstoppable asteroid has been identified by NASA and is traveling at 2,500 miles an hour on a collision course with the Pacific Ocean. While it is estimated that the rock will hit about a thousand miles off the Japanese coast, the impending oceanic disturbance from impact could cause mass-scale earthquakes the world over and is likely to create a tsunami wave that would bury the entire West Coast of North America. The asteroid is estimated to hit Earth in two-days.

Doomsday scenario 3: After years of overdependence on man-made technology, artificial intelligence has surpassed human intelligence. Machines have created exponentially brilliant machines that surpass the realm of human understanding. If, for whatever reason, the machines decide not to destroy the human race, they will surely enslave us all. Time travel is possible.

So what happens next? Popular literature and film have been asking that question for decades with the help of massive Hollywood budgets, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Cusack, Bruce Willis and (squeal!!!) Brad Pitt. This fall, the Deschutes Public Library is examining the fictional answers in its "Know Ends" series, readings and film screenings revolving around what could happen under any number of doomsday circumstances.

"End-of-the-world-as-we-know-it type of books have always maintained a foothold in our literary imagination," explained Liz Goodrich, community relations coordinator for the Deschutes Public Library, "perhaps because post-apocalyptic fiction (or science fiction) gives us an opportunity to explore some scary situations without having to experience them firsthand."

Other successful "Know" series put on by the library include "Know Shakespeare," "Know Clue" (which looked at the mystery genre, "CSI," D.B. Cooper and screened Hitchcock films), "Know Money" (budget travel, stretching food dollars and panning for gold) and "Know Beer" (a clear winner in Bend). The "Know Ends" series takes a magnifying glass to survivalist film and literature through ominous hypotheticals and historical reflection.

Know Ends Events

Know Ends: Oregon's Greatest Natural Disasters Discussion

Sept. 13, 2 pm. Sunriver Library, 56855 Venture Ln.

Sept. 14, noon. Redmond Library, 15990 NE 85th St.

Lit Pub Book Talk

Sept. 17, 5:30 pm. The Pig & Pound, 423 SW 8th St. Redmond

Sept. 25, 6 pm. Volcanic Theater Pub, Century Center.

The Zombie Invasion Lecture

Sept. 19, 6 pm. East Bend Library, 62080 Don Carlos St.

Shaun of the Dead Screening

Sept. 24, 7:30 pm. Tin Pan Theater, 869 NW Tin Pan Alley

Surviving the End Preparedness Lecture

Sept. 28, 2 pm. Downtown Bend Library, 601 NW Wall St.

Sept. 29, noon. LaPine Library, 16425 1st St.

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Brianna Brey