Sustainability programs and practices for libraries

For Immediate Release
Tue, 11/09/2021


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association


CHICAGO — As a core value of librarianship, sustainability is not an end point but a mindset, a lens through which operational and outreach decisions can be made. And it extends beyond an awareness of the roles that libraries can play in educating and advocating for a sustainable future. As “Libraries and Sustainability: Programs and Practices for Community Impact,” published by ALA Editions, demonstrates, sustainability can also encompass engaging with communities in discussions about resilience, regeneration, and social justice. Edited by René Tanner, Adrian K. Ho, Monika Antonelli, and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, members of ALA's Sustainability Round Table and ALA’s Special Task Force on Sustainability, this book’s many topics include:

  • a discussion of why sustainability matters to libraries and their user communities;
  • real-life examples of sustainability programming, transformative community partnerships, collective responses for climate resilience, and green building practices;
  • lessons learned and recommendations from library workers who have been active in putting sustainability into practice;
  • the intersection of sustainability with the work of equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • suggestions regarding the revision of library and information science curriculum in light of the practical need to build community resilience;
  • an examination of how libraries’ efforts to support Doughnut Economics can bolster the United Nations' work on the Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to address the global impacts of climate change; and
  • potential collaborators for future sustainability-related initiatives.

Tanner is the Science Librarian and Head of Research Services for Olin Library at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She has previously published on the topic of seed libraries and their importance in the development of food appreciation and local knowledge of food crops. Ho is coordinator of digital scholarship at the University of Kentucky Libraries in Lexington. has given presentations about libraries, sustainability, and resilience. His ORCID ID is Antonelli is an outreach librarian and professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is the co-editor of the book “Greening Libraries,” which in 2013 received the Best Business Book award at the Green Book Festival. She has earned permaculture certification, and currently serves on her university’s Environmental Committee. Aldrich (MLS, LEED AP) is Executive Director, Mid-Hudson Library System (New York). She is the sustainability columnist for Library Journal. She is the co-founder of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative and a founding board member of the American Library Association’s Sustainability Round Table. Named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker, she is a frequent national presenter and writer on the topic of leading libraries forward in smart, practical, and effective ways.

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