ALA Annual Conference – Sustainable Libraries Events + Programs

Find out more and join SustainRT at ALA Annual in Vegas next weekend:

Saturday, June 28, 2014 – 1:00pm to 2:30pm
1st ever official SustainRT Board meeting (all are welcome)
Las Vegas Convention Center N214

Sunday, June 29, 2014 – 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Lightning Rounds: Sustainability at Your Library – please attend our 1st conference program!
Las Vegas Convention Center N237

Sunday,Jun 29 at 6:00pm to Jun 30 at 7:00pm
SustainRT Social Meet-up – – Architectural Walking Tour
Meet at Piero’s Italian Restaurant to begin the tour (route and map link)

Also all SustainRT official events are listed on our website:

Check out these sustainable libraries Poster Sessions – both are Sunday, June 29, 2014 – 12:30pm to 2:00pm in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Exhibit Hall/Poster Session

Sprouting Green Librarians Among the Weeds
Poster 7 : by Mindy Reed (also one of our lightening round presenters!)
From the Ground Up Promoting Sustainability in Academic Libraries
Poster 17 : four amazing librarians postering!

Also, SustainRT is co-sponsoring/supporting:

Saturday, June 28, 2014 – 10:30am to 12:00pm
Library Power to the People: Facing Up to the Climate Crisis with Information & Action (REFORMA President’s Program)
Las Vegas Convention Center N235

BOOK: Ecology, Economy, Equity: The Path to a Carbon-free Library

Henk_300Check out this new book by Mandy Henk Ecology, Economy, Equity: The Path to a Carbon-free Library coming out this summer from ALA but you can order now & you should!  The online summary says:

n the first book to seriously examine the future of libraries in a climate reality-based context, Henk convincingly argues that building a carbon-free future for libraries is not only essential but eminently practical. Using the “three E’s” of sustainability (ecology, economy, equity) as a foundation, she traces the development of sustainability from its origins in the 1970s to the present, laying out a path librarians can take at their own institutions to begin the process of building a carbon-free library. Rooted in the latest science but firmly focused on concrete action, her book”

I heard Mandy speak as a keynote at the Social Entrepreneurship in Action: the 2013 Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians on Libraries and the Triple Bottom Line and she had some fantastic ideas I had not even thought about myself. (Check out her Prezi)


Do you have a sustainable related story to share?

ALA’s new Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) is looking for people to share their sustainability-related library projects during its kickoff program at ALA Annual 2014 in Las Vegas.

Format: Presenters will have five minutes to present, with follow up questions at the end of the program. Presenters may use one fixed image (electronic or otherwise) as part of their presentation (or none at all). The program will be held at ALA Annual on Sunday June 29th from 1:00-2:30PM.

Eligibility: Anyone may submit a proposal, though preference will be given to SustainRT members.

Purpose: The purpose of the Lightning Rounds is to share creative and important work that contributes to a more resilient, harmonious, and holistic community through economic, environmental, and social aspects of sustainability work being done in libraries of all kinds. We are seeking a diverse representation of innovative sustainability projects that go beyond the traditional “greening” of libraries.

To submit a proposal, send an email to Madeleine Charney at mcharney [at] library.umass with answers to the following questions:

Institution or organization
SustainRT member Y/N
Title of your presentation
Description of the presentation you are proposing to make
Brief statement telling us what excites you about your topic and/or the sustainability movement within the library profession


Presentation: Roll With It- Pedaling Toward a Sustainable Future for a Small University Town

entrelib-96x96logo3Recently the third  Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians with the theme  Social Entrepreneurship in Action took place at UNCG and had a number of great presentations some related to sustainability worth blogging to share!  Jason Cooper , Systems and Emerging Technologies Librarian, University of Montevallo, Carmichael Library gave an inspiring presentation on how this small town and university in Alabama is moving to more sustainable practices. He discussed the town and gown collaborations, community gardens, saving the local swamp, university green funds, and the big exciting ValloCycle program.  In 2011, a group of university professors, librarians, and community leaders launched ValloCycle, the first community-wide bike share program in the state of Alabama.  This presentation described the ValloCycle program and a focus on how a campus library has worked to support other environmental initiatives in the community. Check it out:

Presentation: Libraries, Entrepreneurship, and the Triple Bottom Line

entrelib-96x96Last week the third  Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians with the theme   Social Entrepreneurship in Action took place at UNCG and had a number of great presentations some related to sustainability worth blogging to share! Mandy Henk, Access Services Librarian at DePauw University, but also  activist who  helped build the People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street and soon-to-be author of a new book on sustainability in libraries, gave a amazing presentation on  Libraries, Entrepreneurship, and the Triple Bottom Line.  Summary of her presentation:  The transition to sustainability represents a new and important opportunity for entrepreneurship, one that librarians can use to stay relevant and engaged with their communities. At a time when even the Harvard Business Review is calling for a transition to a more sustainable world, what can libraries and librarians do to transition their own institutions toward a new more sustainable model, one based on the triple bottom line of economy, ecology, and equity?

View her prezi presentation here

The Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians: “Social Entrepreneurship in Action”

Since it’s a social and sustainable based theme this time, I wanted to promote this CFP for this wonderful and unique conference!  Check out the line up of speakers and consider presenting! 


Call for Proposals

As David Bornstein and Susan Davis succinctly define, “Social entrepreneurship is a process by which citizens build or transform institutions to advance solutions to social problems, such as poverty, illiteracy, environmental destruction, human rights abuses and corruption, in order to make life better for many.”*  At the third “Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians,” sponsored by the libraries at Wake Forest University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, we will explore the paths by which librarians have engaged in social entrepreneurship to promote social change in their communities and beyond.
This conference will provide a forum to:

  • Share and celebrate the social entrepreneurial accomplishments of librarians and information professionals
  • Inspire each other to innovate and promote change
  • Create a community to promote entrepreneurial practices

We seek presentations from librarians and information professionals about projects that have transformed library services or have provided solutions to social problems. The successful presentation could include:

  • An innovative approach that used social entrepreneurship to fill an unmet need or promoted change
  • A description of how a solution was designed and implemented
  • A discussion of lessons learned and what could have been done differently
  • A description of the keys to a successful project
  • A tone that inspires social entrepreneurship, no matter how small the project

The conference will feature keynote addresses from noted professionals in our field:


  • Mandy Henk, Librarian at The People’s Librarian, Occupy Wall Street, as well as the Coordinator of Access Services at DePauw University.
  • Brian Mathews, Associate Dean for Learning and Outreach at Virginia Tech’s University Libraries.  Creator of the popular blog, “The Ubiquitous Librarian,” Mathews recently wrote “Think Like a Startup: A White Paper to Inspire Library Entrepreneurialism.”
  • Michael Porter, President of Library Renewal, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding equitable ways for library users to access electronic content.

Conference dates and location:

May 16 & 17, 2013 on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

For more information please see the conference web page or

Presentations may be made in one of two formats:

  • One-hour break-out sessions with 45 minutes for presenting and 15 minutes for Q&A.  These may be panels or single presenters.  Proposals should include an abstract of no more than 250 words.
  • Five minute “lightning rounds” with time for Q&A after all have presented.  Only a microphone will be provided so be prepared without visual aids!  Proposals should include a description of 25-50 words.

Submission Deadline:

Proposals will be accepted until November 1, 2012.  Please click here for the submission form or
For more information about submissions, contact:

Ellen Makaravage

Kimberly Lutz


*in Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know, New York: Oxford UP, 2010.

AASHE conference: ways to be green at events!

I am thrilled to be attending and presenting at a (non library!) conference – AASHE, the association of sustainability in higher education. It’s very important that librarians get out and mingle with non librarians to hear what’s happening beyond our own world as well as show other just how diverse, important and relevant libraries are in so many sectors of our world today. My presentation was on a virtual sustainability conference I helped my university run last year – since virtual is greener than traveling (ironically I had to travel to present here on the subject). But I’m thrilled to learn about all the wonderful and inspiring campus initiatives for a more sustainable world: from small to large ideas, from administration to students driven projects, from small to huge universities. there are even a few librarians here and involved!. And the number of students attending – and presenting – is incredible which gives us all hope for future sustainable endeavors –  and gives them the chance to network, gain skills and respect.

As most of us do travel and attend conferences, I wanted to post about this conference’s green practices that I wish I could see more of at library events:

First of all, the Denver Convention Center is a very green place to host a conference. There are compost cans everywhere next to the trash and recycling bins. Our box lunches, including the little containers, the utensils and the box itself are all compostable. The food is healthier, (much of it local & fair trade) than usually get at events and there are way more vegetarian/vegan meals than non (majority of attendees are veggie folks). There are NO water bottles – everyone has their own reusable bottle and there are filling stations everywhere. Everyone has their own coffee mugs too. The few cups available are compostable. They parter with contractors who work hard at keeping room temps, energy output and lights set in most sustainable way as well as more sustainable measures from supply chain to offsite material usage.

AASHE presenters offer NO handouts… yup people here take their own notes (on paper or computer) and I never heard one complaint about no handouts. Everything will be online to access so attendees can choose to print later if they wish. Attendees can purchase carbon offsets if they want. There are great public transportation options here but also arranged are ride share and zimride. Hotel choices were those with more sustainable practices. Dine-arounds are at local green option places. Even the signage was done to be reused next time.

My only complaint is the lack of virtual options. I love in person networking too but maybe every other year in person,  and host a much greener virtual option in between years  to better role model what they are promoting!

(hmm, maybe ALA could do their midwinter conference as virtual to be green and save money and allow for more participation by all!)