For immediate release | April 26, 2016

Explore sustainable library practices with SustainRT at ALA Annual Conference

CHICAGO – Join the American Library Association (ALA) Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) for several events highlighting innovation and sustainable library practices during ALA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando.

SustainRT’s panel discussions, workshops and meetings will give attendees the opportunity to learn, be inspired and connect with library professionals devoted to leveraging library operations and outreach to help foster resilient communities.

The events kick off on Saturday, June 25, from 8:30 - 10 a.m. with “Sustainable Thinking,” a keynote-level presentation that 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. "Sustainable Thinking" is a concept that aligns the core values of libraries with the "Triple Bottom Line" definition of sustainability, to result in libraries and communities that are: sustainable, resilient and regenerative. At the end of this workshop participants will:

  • Understand the concept of the Triple Bottom Line
  • Be mobilized to think sustainably about the future of their library
  • Have new tools and inspiration for helping their communities thrive.

This event will be presented by Matthew Bollerman (Hauppauge Public Library (New York) and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (Mid-Hudson Library System (New York).

On Saturday afternoon, from 1 - 2:30 p.m., SustainRT will hold its annual business meeting, “SustainRT: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities.”

From 5:30 - 7 p.m. Saturday evening , connect with SustainRT and the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table members during a joint social at Marlow’s Tavern, 9101 International Drive.

On Sunday, June 26, from 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. The speakers on this panel will provide examples of innovative projects, including the STEM/sustainability connection, waste reduction initiatives, campus dialogues and urban farming while discussing how this work can affect communal change. 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.

Later on Sunday, from 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. For this initiative, NLA collaborated with a range of Aruban stakeholders including W.E.B. Aruba N.V., N.V. Elmar, Green's'Cool, SETAR N.V., Utilities Aruba N.V., Government Department of Agriculture, Husbandry and Fisheries Santa Rosa, all of which sponsored and organized the symposia. Panelists will include Astrid Britten, director of the National Library of Aruba; Ronny R. Alders, coordinator, Green Education Symposium/Green Education Project of the National Library of Aruba; Professor Dr. Ir. Filomeno (Boey), president and founder of FESTAS, advisor, Sustainable Water Technology and Innovation at W.E.B. Aruba N.V. and chair, Sustainable Water Technology and Management at the University of Curacao (UoC); Ing. Henry de Cuba, president of Americas Sustainable Development Foundation (A.S.D.F.); and Nathalie Maduro, director of Department of Agriculture, Husbandry and Fisheries Santa Rosa.

Room locations will be announced soon. Admission to all events is free and open to all attendees of ALA Annual Conference. To learn more, please visit

About SustainRT

SustainRT was created as a venue in which members exchange ideas and opportunities regarding sustainability in order to move toward a more equitable, healthy and economically viable society. The mission of the organization is to provide resources for the library community to support sustainability through curriculum development; collections; exhibits; events; advocacy, communication, library buildings and space design. SustainRT is open to all ALA members and will include both individual members and organizational members.


John L. Amundsen

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140