The ALA Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) morphed out of ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Task Force on the Environment (TFOE) during “Libraries for Sustainability,” a four-part series of free webinars offered in 2012. New leaders emerged from our virtual “grass roots” to form an interim steering committee. The next step was gathering 100 signatures for the petition to create SustainRT. More than 100 were gathered. At Midwinter 2013, SRRT leadership gave us their blessing as such, and approval of the Round Table at ALA Council was swift.
SustainRT had a well-attended first physical meeting at ALA Chicago on July 1, 2013. The first slate of SustainRT officers were elected in March 2014 and began to literally take the sustainability agenda to the next level within ALA and within the communities we serve. Members were soon polled to select a byline; the group's official name is Sustainability Round Table: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities.
We are grateful for the mentorship shown by Fred Stoss and Terry Link who helped bridge the gap during the metamorphosis from TFOE, and for guidance from Michelle Harrell Washington of ALA.
SustainRT invites librarians, library workers and allies from all sectors, and employs a broad, holistic definition of sustainability. One founding member wrote in her institutional newsletter, “SustainRT will give us a place within ALA to share best practices, research and help galvanize our efforts.”