American Library Association and Sustainable Libraries Initiative to join forces on climate action strategy for libraries

For Immediate Release
Wed, 10/25/2023


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications Marketing and Media Relations Office

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Sustainable Libraries Initiative (SLI) to create a strategic plan for library professionals to address climate change. The SLI’s mission is to empower library leaders to advance environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically feasible practices to intentionally address climate change and co-create thriving communities.

The National Climate Action Strategy will provide guidance on the following:

  • Climate change mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the leading cause of climate change)
  • Climate change adaptation (how libraries can strengthen a community’s resilience in the face of the impacts of climate change)
  • Climate justice work (acknowledging and addressing how climate change can have social, economic, public health, and other adverse impacts on historically marginalized or underserved communities.)

“Sustainability is a core value of librarianship,” said ALA President Emily Drabinski. “This plan builds on years of work by committed ALA member leaders and will help library workers gain further understanding, confidence, and access to resources to build a more sustainable future for libraries and the communities they serve.”

“SLI believes in the power of libraries to be leaders on the topic of sustainability,” said Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, cofounder of SLI. “We need library professionals to see climate action as a part of their roles in order to face the current realities and dire predictions of climate change in the coming decades.”

The creation of the climate action strategy for libraries will involve the convening of key leaders currently working on the core value of sustainability within ALA both through online meetings and a gathering at the 2024 LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience in Baltimore, Md. In addition, the ALA Council Committee on Sustainability (CCS) and SLI will conduct a virtual session and issue a survey to collect feedback from the library field to inform the strategy.

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

About the Sustainable Libraries Initiative
The Sustainable Libraries Initiative is a member-driven organization that empowers library professionals to be leaders in triple-bottom-line sustainability (environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic feasibility) both within their organizations and in their communities. The Sustainable Library Certification Program is now enrolling public and academic libraries internationally and school librarians throughout New York State. For more information, visit