SustainRT | News

Keep up with the world of sustainable libraries

A multipart series, Sustainability in Libraries, is available in American Libraries Magazine.

There are seven engaging articles for you to read and more in the works. This series was initiated by SustainRT members. If you have an idea for an article for the series, please contact Jodi Shaw

Post-Inauguration Message to the Library Community from SustainRT Board 1/25/2017

Madeleine Charney, named LJ 2017 Mover & Shaker for Innovation! (Read the profile)

2/1/2017: Video Travel Grant Award for ALA 2017!  

SustainRT is accepting video submissions as it kicks off its travel grant, with one winner to be selected to receive a $500 travel award for ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago. The theme for this year’s award is “Green is the new Black.” Applicants are invited to submit a 60 second (or less) video explaining how libraries can empower their customers and communities toward a greener, more sustainable future. Creativity is encouraged! To qualify, applicants must be SustainRT members. (*Not a SustainRT member? Join now! Log into your ALA Connect account and add us to your ALA membership. It’s only $10 to join!) SustainRT will select the top three videos, and will post them on the SustainRT Facebook page (, with the video receiving the most “likes” by 11:59PM CT on March 31, 2017 to be selected as the winner. Once selected, the winner will be announced on the SustainRT blog ( on April 1, 2017.

Two articles in American Libraries Magazine on SustainRT sessions at ALA Orlando! Striving for Sustainability:  Four librarians show how they’re spreading environmental awareness and Sustainable Thinking for Libraries: There’s more to it than going green

Library Journal editorial on ALA’s Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries  Read the 8/3/15  editorial by Rebecca T. Miller of Library Journal!

Coordinator of SustainRT Madeleine Charney interviewed by Sustainabilty journal editor! Read the 7 Questions with Madeleine Charney interview by Sustainability: The Journal of Record. June 2015, 8(3): 117-120. doi:10.1089/SUS.2015.29001

May 12, 2015 Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries - PASSED AT the June 4, 2015, ALA Virtual Membership Meeting + overwhelmingly passed by ALA Council on June 28, 2015! 

The Sustainability Roundtable was formed to help libraries foster resilient communities. As we wrap up our first year of existence we’re excited to report we’re introducing our very first resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries at the ALA Virtual Membership Meeting on June 4th. Our goal is to help inspire ALA as an organization to:

  • recognize the important and unique role libraries play in wider community conversations about resiliency, climate change, and a sustainable future and begin a new era of thinking sustainably in order to consider the economic, environmental and socially equitable viability of choices made on behalf of the association;

  • enthusiastically encourage activities by itself, its membership, library schools and state associations to be proactive in their application of sustainable thinking in the areas of their facilities, operations, policy, technology, programming, partnerships and library school curricula; and

  • direct ALA staff, divisions and round tables to pursue sustainable choices when planning their conferences and meetings and to actively promote best practices of sustainability through ALA publications, research and educational opportunities to reach our shared goal of vital, visible and viable libraries for the future.

Sound like something you can get behind? We hope so! The resolution was crowdsourced through the SustainRT membership building off of a successful model resolution passed by the New York Library Association!

March 10, 2015 CALL TO ACTION - Academic Librarians

Facilitate the discovery, dissemination and preservation of student sustainability projects and research. Showcase student work in your Institutional Repository!

SustainRT, the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development (US Partnership) and the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS)  are launching a Call to Action -- to showcase student sustainability projects and research in Institutional Repositories on campuses across the U.S.

Academic librarians are in a unique and vital position to create a better future -- one with less pollution, healthier ecosystems and higher quality of life for all. We have a role to play in “Creating Sustainable Community,” as shown by the theme of the ACRL 2015 conference.

As a librarian, you can contribute to solving urgent societal sustainability challenges by taking the time to:

  • Encourage faculty to invite students (with high quality sustainability projects and research) to submit their final work to the IR.
  • Use keywords such as “student sustainability research” and discipline-specific subject terms to make this work discoverable.
  • Creating a sustainability section on the IR specifically for sustainability projects and research (making it easier to track for STARS, too)
  • Add a “SUBMIT” button in your IR so students may submit their own sustainability work for later review by library staff (saving the library time and empowering students to play an active role).
  • Add OpenDOAR, an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories, to one of your resource pages to increase discovery of other repositories. Try reviewing OpenDOAR to see how other repositories preserve student work.
  • Reach out to nearby colleges and universities if your institution does not have an IR and inquire about collaborating to meet this Call to Action.

Please send your questions, feedback or ideas to advance this Call to Action to: US Partnership Fellow and SustainRT Coordinator Elect, Madeleine Charney at or 413-577-0784. Your input will be appreciated and valued! Click HERE for instructions on searching for student sustainability projects, papers and research in institutional repositories"

March 2, 2015 Give your input on a SustainRT resolution

SustainRT plans to introduce a resolution at ALA Annual 2015 in San Francisco that will raise the profile of the role libraries can play in fostering sustainable, resilient and regenerative communities. By leveraging the national stage that is ALA Annual we have an opportunity to help broaden our message amongst the membership and therefore to libraries across the world.

We see this as an excellent entry point to introduce ourselves, our mission and to create a larger coalition working on optimizing our library buildings, services and outreach efforts with a sustainable lens.

Our draft resolution is modeled on the New York Library Association's resolution (found here:  which was passed by NYLA Council in February 2014.

To that end we are soliciting input on the draft resolution, viewable here:

Please send comments to: by APRIL 10, 2015


SustainRT - Lightning Rounds Event

Deadline to submit: Monday, March 23, 2015

Do you have a sustainability-related library story to tell?

ALA's Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) is looking for people to share their sustainability-related library projects during its program at ALA Annual 2015 in San Francisco.

Format: Presenters will have five minutes to present, with follow-up questions at the end of the program. Presenters may opt to use one fixed image (electronic or otherwise) as part of their presentation. The program will be held at ALA Annual on Monday, June 29th from 1:00-2:30PM. 

Eligibility: Anyone may submit a proposal, though preference will be given to SustainRT members.

Purpose: To share creative and important work that contributes to a more resilient, harmonious and holistic community through economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability work being done in libraries of all kinds.  We are seeking a diverse representation of innovative sustainability projects that go beyond the traditional "greening" of libraries.

To submit a proposal, send an email to Jason Nosek <> with answers to the following questions:
Institution or organization
SustainRT member Y/N
Title of your presentation
Description of the presentation you are proposing to make
Brief statement telling us what excites you about your topic and/or the sustainability movement within the library profession

Proposals due by Monday, March 23, 2015.

For more information about SustainRT:

Thank you for your consideration.

January 27, 2015 - Calling all SustainRT members!

SustainRT is seeking nominations for the role of Coordinator Elect.

This is a three-year commitment.

Applications due by 11:59 CST on February 6th, 2015.

Nominee form:

Questions to Madeleine Charney, Coordinator Elect
mcharney at library dot umass dot edu

November 17, 2014

Elena Maans, Sustainability Coordinator at Dominican University and Assistant Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College presented at the AASHE Annual Conference (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) 2014 this past October in Portland.  At three different presentations at the conference Elena focused on the relationship between libraries and Sustainability. Of the three her widest recieved and most effective was her poster called “How can Academic Library support a University’s Sustainability Plan?” During the poster session around 25 attendees approached Elena to learn more about the examples from Dominican that she had highlighted in her poster as well as open up discussion of how librarians can assist them in projects they are focusing on.  In talking one on one numerous attendees were pleasantly surprised at the rich potential partnerships between the library and Sustainability efforts on college campuses.

For additional information any of these presentations, questions or comments please contact Elena Maans at

November 14, 2014

Madeleine Charney, Sustainability Studies Librarian at University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries was selected to present a poster at the 2014 Presidential Summit on Climate Leadership. The Summit, held in Boston October 1-2, 2014 and hosted by Second Nature, was designed by Presidents for Presidents and Sustainability Staff in higher education. The focus of the Summit was on climate mitigation, resiliency, and regional and national collaborations Charney’s poster highlighted the Sustainability Curriculum Initiative, the library-funded faculty mini-grant program that provides support for teaching sustainability courses across a wide range of disciplines.  The poster illustrated the partnership between these faculty members and the subject librarians associated with their departments. 

November 14, 2014

Congratulations to SustainRT Secretary, Matthew Bollerman! On Nov. 8th, 2014 he was awarded the NYLA Outstanding Service to Libraries Award. The award is given “to recognize and honor an individual who, or a group that, has made a significant, sustained contribution to the development, promulgation, growth or extension of library/information services to the people of NYS or to residents within a designated service area within the State.” Matthew is Director of the Hauppauge Public Library.

October 22, 2014

Recycled Reads, the Austin (Texas) Public Library’s bookstore, has recently finished a project partially funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The project, Sprouting Green Weeding Practices in Libraries, highlights the story of Recycled Reads and encourages libraries to take on more sustainable weeding practices. A big part of Recycled Reads’ mission is to inform library users about the positive impacts of weeding, especially when ex-library media is repurposed and recycled. Even more, programs and events put on by Recycled Reads staff are focused on the education of sustainability literacy.

The main goal of this project is to get libraries to join in on a conversation about weeding as it applies to the future of libraries. We are arguing here that maintaining an accurate, lively collection through weeding is just as important as selecting new titles, transforming shelf space into community and maker space, and planning innovative programs. To take it a step further, the material removed from a library is the responsibility of that library. Librarians need to take a “womb to tomb” approach to collections and ensure that library materials are not tossed in the landfill when there are other options for recycling and repurposing.

Please check out the link to the project and Tweet us your feedback (@RecycledReadsTX, hashtag #AmongTheWeeds), or feel free to email me directly with questions or comments.

July 1, 2014

"From the Ground Up: Promoting Sustainability in Academic Libraries"

Poster at ALA in June 2014 in Las Vegas

UC San Diego Library Environmental Sustainability Group (ESG)

Showcased  efforts to create awareness about sustainability efforts in the Library and assess the impact of strategies and services on library staff and students.

The ESG members were:

· Kim Kane (Chair)

· Heather Hayashi

· Jock Oubichon (09/26/67 – 11/08/14)

· Kim Schwenk

SustainRT on Twitter