For immediate release | June 22, 2022

A Call to Action on Climate Change for Libraries

CHICAGO – Climate change is the single greatest threat to global health and this generation’s grandest challenge, but many library leaders feel overwhelmed, even paralyzed about where to start. “Sustainability in Libraries: A Call to Action,” a new briefing from the ALA Council Committee on Sustainability, is here to focus attention on how the library community can accelerate their understanding and action, in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Readers will learn:

  • Why ALA has adopted the “triple bottom line” definition of sustainability as a core value of the profession;
  • How libraries can take the lead on climate adaptation;
  • Why climate justice work is equity, diversity, and inclusion work;
  • How many in our field are already answering the call for leadership on the topic of sustainability;
  • How ALA, as an association, is living its values out loud on this topic; and
  • Simple, practical steps anyone can take to get started.

ALA President Patty Wong focused on sustainability during her presidential year, noting in her kickoff American Libraries column about this topic, “This is the time to stand together in solidarity…to meet the enormous challenges of the climate crisis and summon the effort to deal with its impact. Climate change is a unifying issue for libraries across the globe, and we must commit to doing all we can to prepare our communities for its effects.”

The authors of the briefing, members of the new ALA Council Committee on Sustainability, represent public, school and academic libraries and have strong ties to the ALA Special Task Force on Sustainability, the Sustainability Round Table, the Sustainable Libraries Initiative and the Executive Board of ALA.

This briefing is free to download through the new LibGuide on Sustainability, curated by ALA Librarian & Archivist, Colleen Barbus.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Melanie Welch


American Library Association

Public Programs Office