New ALA Task Force on Sustainability

Jim Neal has just announced the appointment of an ALA Task Force on Sustainability.  Appointment of this Task Force was begun by ALA’s Immediate Past President Julie Todaro.  The Task Force is charged to develop a white paper that describes areas of focus and recommendations for the ALA Executive Board to increase the adoption and implementation of sustainable practices by the Association, the profession, libraries, and the communities they serve. 

Members of the Task Force are Monika Antonelli (Minnesota State University), Sara Dallas (Southern Adirondack Library System), Adrian K. Ho (University of Kentucky Libraries), Traci Engel Lesneski (MSR, MN), Margaret Sullivan (Margaret Sullivan Studio, NY), Margaret Woodruff (Charlotte Library, VT), and Christian Zabriskie (Urban Libraries Unite, NY).  The Task Force will be co-chaired by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (Mid-Hudson Library System) and Rene M. Tanner (Arizona State University). The staff liaison will be Mary Ghikas (ALA Senior Associate Executive Director – and Interim Executive Director), working with Danielle Alderson (ALA Member Programs and Services).

The Task Force has been asked by the ALA Executive Board to include the following issues in their discussion.

  • How the Association may provide leadership and serve as a model for sustainability practices more broadly in the profession
  • How the Association may provide leadership in the adoption of sustainability practices in libraries; and,
  • How libraries may provide leadership and serve as a model for sustainability in the communities they serve.

The Board has asked for a final report by the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

This continues the ALA focus on sustainability, including the formation of the Sustainability Round Table and the passage of a resolution on sustainability passed by the ALA Council at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco: (http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/council_documents/2015_annual_council_documents/cd_36_substainable_libraries_resol_final.pdf)

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FREE membership to ALA’s SustainRT for LIS students!

Exciting news for LIS graduate students, if you are a member of ALA, on September 1, 2017 you can join SustainRT for FREE:

  • Currently enrolled in ALA-accredited Master of Library Science/Master of Library and Information Science (MLS/MLIS) program.
  • Student members of ALA.

About: SustainRT strives to achieve a more equitable, healthy and economically viable society by providing resources for the library community to support sustainability through curriculum development; collections; exhibits; events; advocacy, communication, library buildings and space design. SustainRT is a member of the ALA’s recently formed Office of Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) which supports library and information science workers in creating responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community. SustainRT offers  committees and projects, webinars and events!

ODLOS blog Intersections – calls for contributors

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS)is launching Intersections, a new blog that highlights the everyday work of library and information science workers as they advocate for equity and inclusion as they relate to diversity, literacy and access among membership, the field of librarianship and the communities they serve. The blog invites submissions from across the library profession featuring:

  • those from historically and disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups;
  • those who experience socioeconomic barriers, people experiencing hunger, homelessness and poverty;
  • immigrants, refugees and new Americans; those discriminated against based on nationality or language;
  • those who are geographically isolated;
  • those experiencing barriers in regards to access to literacy; and new and non-readers.

 

 

ENSULIB at IFLA

Environmental Sustainability for Libraries (ENSULIB) had a very successful and well-attended session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio last week. The group welcomed research from Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and the US, and presenting the IFLA Green Library Award for 2016, which included 30 submissions.  First place went to Pequeño Sol ecological library, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas state, Mexico, for its new crowdfunded and community-constructed building extension that incorporates renewable energies and recycled materials. Read the summary from American Libraries magazine. 

ifla-logoSave the date: ENSULIB will hold a two-day meeting in Berlin August 16-17, 2017. This directly precedes the IFLA conference in Wroclaw, Poland. Follow them on Facebook

The story behind the creation of the Sustainabilty Round Table of ALA

A recent publication in Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy (11 (2)) by Beth Filar Williams (me!)  Madeleine Charney  &  Bonnie Smith called  Growing our vision together: forming a sustainability community within the American Library Association was published online Apr 01, 2016. It tells the back story about how the ALA SustainRT came to be….

Abstract:

As long-standing keepers of democracy and information stewardship, library professionals are a natural fit for advocating and promoting sustainability within their communities. From seed libraries to Occupy Wall Street libraries, their view of sustainability extends beyond environmental concerns to include community activism, economic development, and social equity. Empowering people, facilitating dialogue, and providing resources for a more resilient future are at the center of librarians’ vital and changing roles. These visionary professionals have powered libraries’ work as outspoken advocates with well-founded initiatives. For a long time, however, there was no cohesive sustainability-focused venue for sharing best practices, collaborating, and contributing to the profession. In 2014, after two years of focused research and promotion, the American Library Association (ALA) approved a new group, the Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT). This article describes how library advocates built SustainRT over the years and gained momentum with a pivotal webinar series. Clear signs of SustainRT’s early success are a testimony to the critical need for a sustainability-related Community of Practice (CoP). The article shows how the steps taken to achieve this national group’s standing can serve as a model for fostering dialogue and collaboration (often through virtual means) that allows for wide participation. http://hdl.handle.net/1957/58825 

Going to ALA in Orlando next week?

SustainRT has lots of great sessions (see below) You might also want to check out this listing of diversity events at ALA as well

 

ALA Annual Conference, Orlando

  • more info here: http://www.alaannual.org/
  • Saturday morning, June 25, 8:30 – 10 a.m. “Sustainable Thinking,” presentation by Matthew Bollerman (Hauppauge Public Library (New York) and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (Mid-Hudson Library System (New York) will explore how to infuse the core value of sustainability into everything we do, taking a “whole systems approach” to leading our libraries into the future and building our base of support among those we serve along the way. 
  • Saturday afternoon, 1 – 2:30 p.m., SustainRT will hold its annual business meeting, “SustainRT: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities.” ALL ARE WELCOME! 
  • Saturday evening, 5:30 – 7 p.m.  connect with SustainRT and the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table members during a joint social at Marlow’s Tavern, 9101 International Drive.
  • Sunday morning, June 26,   10:30 – 11:30 a.m., “Planting the Seeds: Libraries and Librarians as Change Agents for Sustainability within Their Communities” will explore how libraries of all kinds, already cornerstones of their communities and hubs of exchange, are uniquely positioned to act as change agents within those communities to become sustainable, resilient and regenerative.   Panelists will include Jodi Shaw, children’s librarian, Brooklyn Public Library; Madeleine Charney, sustainability studies librarian, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Mary Beth Lock, director of Access Services, Wake Forest University; and Ray Pun, first year student success librarian, California State University, Fresno.
  • Sunday afternoon, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., “The National Library of Aruba: Promoting, Enhancing and Embracing Green Education” will feature a panel of representatives from the National Library of Aruba (NLA) and partner organizations from the Caribbean island nation, the Netherlands and the United States as they share their experiences holding a series of symposia from 2012-2015 for 6,000 students and teachers in secondary schools and higher education on sustainable energy, food supply, and soil practices.  

Save the date: SustainRT events at ALA

The ALA Annual Conference held in Orlando FL this year has now published their schedule.  And here are the Sustainability Round Table events and programs – save the date if you are planning to attend!

  • Saturday morning, June 25, 8:30 – 10 a.m. “Sustainable Thinking,” presentation by Matthew Bollerman (Hauppauge Public Library (New York) and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (Mid-Hudson Library System (New York) will explore how to infuse the core value of sustainability into everything we do, taking a “whole systems approach” to leading our libraries into the future and building our base of support among those we serve along the way. 
  • Saturday afternoon, 1 – 2:30 p.m., SustainRT will hold its annual business meeting, “SustainRT: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities.” ALL ARE WELCOME! 
  • Saturday evening, 5:30 – 7 p.m.  connect with SustainRT and the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table members during a joint social at Marlow’s Tavern, 9101 International Drive.
  • Sunday morning, June 26,   10:30 – 11:30 a.m., “Planting the Seeds: Libraries and Librarians as Change Agents for Sustainability within Their Communities” will explore how libraries of all kinds, already cornerstones of their communities and hubs of exchange, are uniquely positioned to act as change agents within those communities to become sustainable, resilient and regenerative.   Panelists will include Jodi Shaw, children’s librarian, Brooklyn Public Library; Madeleine Charney, sustainability studies librarian, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Mary Beth Lock, director of Access Services, Wake Forest University; and Ray Pun, first year student success librarian, California State University, Fresno.
  • Sunday afternoon, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., “The National Library of Aruba: Promoting, Enhancing and Embracing Green Education” will feature a panel of representatives from the National Library of Aruba (NLA) and partner organizations from the Caribbean island nation, the Netherlands and the United States as they share their experiences holding a series of symposia from 2012-2015 for 6,000 students and teachers in secondary schools and higher education on sustainable energy, food supply, and soil practices.