Sustainability Funds in Libraries

University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries is a great example of libraries as key players in sustainability on their campus.  First of all they actually have a Sustainability Studies Librarian  who teaches library research classes and consults with individuals – even local community members, and a great resource guide on the topic. With sustainability integrated widely throughout the campus (currently there are 74 courses related to sustainability!) the library decided to take the next step.  Starting in 2012 the Libraries  working with the campus’ Annual Giving Office created  the “Second Ask” campaign with students making the calls and asking for donations for library, in particular for sustainability efforts. They have received gifts from more than 3,300 donors totaling $150,000 so far. This Sustainability Fund will be used for collection development, curriculum mapping, training for faculty, earth day speakers/events, mini grants for smaller ideas and opportunities  – all related to sustainability.  Read more in the ALA’s College Library Section newsletter (page 4)!

Update 4/3/13:

Congratulations to U Mass Amherst Libraries for winning the Gale Cengage learning Financial Development Award for their sustainability fund! “The award is presented annually to a library organization that exhibits meritorious achievement in creating new means of funding for a public or academic library.”

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MOOCs on Climate Literary and Climate Change

MOOCs can be a great way to learn more about a subject or topic from your own home or offer/suggest as a resources or extra learning opportunity to your students, staff or patrons.  Check out these 2 offerings through Coursera:


Climate Literacy  Navigation Climate Conversations, taught by Sarah Burch and Sara Harris of the University of British Columbia, in May 2013. Its broken into 10 modules: the first half of the course dealing  mainly with climate change science and models and the second half about  climate change impacts, response options, and polices.


Climate Change by University of Melbourne faculty Jon Barnett, John Freebairn, David Jamieson, Maurizio Toscano and Rachel Webster,  in August 2103.   This course develops an interdisciplinary understanding of the social, political, economic and scientific perspectives on climate change.