Going to ACRL 2015: sustainable sessions + events!

There are many sustainable themed sessions, posters, and round tables at the aptly themed “Creating Sustainable Community” conference in Portland this year! Here is a listing of some of the sustainable libraries sessions I discovered searching the program:

Also be sure to check out the posters, take advantage of the free MAX light rail pass, and bike petal your smoothie (during break times: Thurs March 26, 9 – 11 and 2 – 4 and Fri March 27,  9:30 – 11:30 and 2:30 – 4:30)

International Seed Library Forum

Exciting! the U of AZ and Pima County Public Library are hosting a forum May 3-6, 2015 in Tucson.  They are calling public libraries, non profits, universities, and food banks who have all been working in the area of seed lending libraries. It is also celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1st National Heirloom Seed Conference. The gathering has a goal to  collectively address recent regulatory challenges to their operations in five states as well.  Find out more and register by April 17



CALL TO ACTION – Academic Librarians

Facilitate the discovery, dissemination and preservation of student sustainability projects and research. Showcase student work in your Institutional Repository!

SustainabilityRoundTableDAN uspartner

SustainRT, the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development(US Partnership) and the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability(DANS)  are launching a Call to Action — to showcase student sustainability projects and research in Institutional Repositories on campuses across the U.S.

Academic librarians are in a unique and vital position to create a better future — one with less pollution, healthier ecosystems and higher quality of life for all. We have a role to play in “Creating Sustainable Community,” as shown by the theme of the ACRL 2015 conference.

As a librarian, you can contribute to solving urgent societal sustainability challenges by taking the time to:

  • Encourage faculty to invite students (with high quality sustainability projects and research) to submit their final work to the IR.

  • Use keywords such as “student sustainability research” and discipline-specific subject terms to make this work discoverable.

  • Creating a sustainability section on the IR specifically for sustainability projects and research (making it easier to track for STARS, too)

  • Add a “SUBMIT” button in your IR so students may submit their own sustainability work for later review by library staff (saving the library time and empowering students to play an active role).

  • Add OpenDOAR, an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories, to one of your resource pages to increase discovery of other repositories. Try reviewing OpenDOAR to see how other repositories preserve student work.

  • Reach out to nearby colleges and universities if your institution does not have an IR and inquire about collaborating to meet this Call to Action.

Please send your questions, feedback or ideas to advance this Call to Action to: US Partnership Fellow and SustainRTCoordinator Elect, Madeleine Charney at mcharney@library.umass.edu or 413-577-0784.  Your input will be appreciated and valued!

Need further information about the benefits of showcasing student sustainability projects and research? Watch this video from the George A. Smathers Library at the University of Florida. Or read on..

Why showcase student sustainability projects in an IR?
There is a growing national trend for undergraduate (and some graduate) students to engage in real world problem solving projects related to urgent sustainability issues (e.g. water and food availability, ecosystem health, severe weather event preparation and resilience, energy efficiency and renewable energies design and implementation, sustainable livelihoods). The knowledge gained through these projects is often lost to the broader community as the information is usually submitted to faculty and never published.  Without awareness of existing projects, students and communities working on similar real world sustainability projects in other locations must re-create the information, tools, analyses, and lessons learned from scratch.

Value of a sustainability student showcase in an IR?
If made available via IRs, sustainability projects and research can offer significant value, from additional campus use to global applications.  For example, a project at one college that engages students in planning and implementing a campus ride share program to reduce pollution and traffic congestion has many lessons to share on how best to design the ride sharing program, the vendor selection, and effective outreach to students.  Posting the write up of the project in an IR will help scale up ride sharing across the country, growing the positive environmental and community benefits more rapidly.

An IR from a wide range of institutions can make otherwise unpublished student sustainability research and creative output highly visible and accessible to all.  By capturing student sustainability work in IRs, we will create a deep well of sustainability knowledge that supports other researchers and project participants. The connectivity created through such a network of IRs will allow the sustainability community in higher education to increase the integration of sustainability into campuses (e.g. curricula, student life, purchasing and investments, policy, facilities and operations)  and the broader community (e.g. government, businesses and non-profits).

In a recent article, “Focusing on student research in the institutional repository” (C&RL News, Nov. 2014), Danielle Barandiaran et al discuss benefits to students when they deposit their work in an IR:

  • A permanent and official place to archive their work
  • A stable URL, which can be referred to in perpetuity
  • Building of an online curricula vitae, which promotes their academic and research skills

Furthermore, the article’s survey reveals that 68.4% of respondents believe that undergraduate work housed in an IR would be very helpful when recruiting students. The majority of respondents also believe the presence of undergraduate work in the IR would aid in attracting high caliber students.

ALA members – want to help with greening the conferences?




Join SustainRT project group to explore at how ALA works and how we could assist with implementing more sustainable practices including “greener” conferences.  Much of this work can be done virtually and you do not have to be a regular ALA conference goer to participate –  more ideas the better to determine possibilities!

Here is the info >>>

ALA Governance Tag Team

Reaches out to ALA administration and leadership better understand “how ALA works” and identify pressure points on which we can focus. This group also explores how to help “green the conference.” 

Contact: Beth (filarwilliams [at] gmail .com]

Call for Abstracts: Sustainability and the Library!

A special issue of Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy  – An open access journal for sustainable solutions (ISSN:1548-7733) invites contributions that integrate science, practice, and policy in original research, case studies, and policy analysis. Submissions should address social, economic, political, and biological/environmental interactions relevant to sustainability problems. The work should be grounded in specific research and be presented in language that is understandable across disciplines.

Call for Abstracts Deadline: May 1, 2015
submit via email to Dr. Maurie Cohen mcohen@njit.edu 
Review decisions by: October 31, 2015
Publication: Spring 2016

This special issue aims both to review how the LIS community has to date sought to advance sustainability and to chart a course for the next generation of effort. We are looking to identify contributions that bring forth new and innovative solutions and/or challenges focusing on issues such as:

  • Assessing the strategic role of library and information science in environmental protection, social equity, and economic development
  • Identifying the ways in which information research and information practices link to sustainability through, for example, access to information, intellectual freedom, literacy
  • Designing sustainable information
  • Greening the library
  • Measuring the environmental impact of different resources that libraries provide
  • Making sustainable decisions that help to positively address climate change and respect natural resources
  • Creating healthy indoor and outdoor environments through sustainable building practices
  • Motivating libraries/librarians to be change leaders
  • Evaluating the role of libraries in pursuing local sustainability through programs and services for public education and local policy/government

Download flyer (pdf) for complete information

More here: http://sspp.proquest.com/about/special.html

Resolution on the importance of sustainable libraries!

SustainRT plans to introduce a resolution at ALA Annual 2015 in San Francisco that will raise the profile of the role libraries can play in fostering sustainable, resilient and regenerative communities. By leveraging the national stage that is ALA Annual we have an opportunity to help broaden our message amongst the membership and therefore to libraries across the world.

We see this as an excellent entry point to introduce ourselves, our mission and to create a larger coalition working on optimizing our library buildings, services and outreach efforts with a sustainable lens.

Our draft resolution is modeled on the New York Library Association’s resolution (found here: http://www.nyla.org/max/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=1031&MenuKey=news)  which was passed by NYLA Council in February 2014.

To that end we are soliciting input on the draft resolution, viewable here: http://bit.ly/1AFfBsa

Please send comments to Rebekkah: rsmith@midhudson.org by APRIL 10, 2015