Post-Inauguration Message to the Library Community

January 2017

Dear Library Community,

Now more than ever, the American Library Association’s Sustainability Round Table stands firmly in our profession’s core values, many of which serve to protect our planet. The Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) was established for the exchange of sustainability ideas and opportunities in order to move toward a more equitable, healthy and economically viable society.

Considering the climate change denial of the key members of the new administration, we will double down on our commitment to shape the library profession’s sustainable practices, policies and programming to strengthen democracy, diversity, education and lifelong learning, and social responsibility. Libraries provide vital places, brave spaces, services and resources to build community resilience as we all face an uncertain future together.

The 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries reminds us of “the important and unique role libraries play in wider community conversations about resiliency, climate change, and a sustainable future.” To that end, we welcome Bill McKibben, a world renowned climate change leader, as a keynote speaker at the ALA Annual 2017 Conference. McKibben’s address is made possible through our co-sponsorship with ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table, the American Indian Library Association and the Asian Pacific American Library Association.

We are deeply concerned about climate change and its drastic impact on people, wildlife, coastlines, weather patterns, ocean currents, and food production. While our list is long, it is not all inclusive and some of the most severe impacts could be ones we have not yet thought to measure or predict. There are pressing actions you can take now.

Please call and write your representatives to protest the nomination of cabinet members who threaten to harm our nation’s public lands, people and environment. To find your representative visit:

The coming years provide an opportunity to mobilize and work together for social equity, proper stewardship of the earth, and sustainable economic growth. Come what may, SustainRT stands resolved on the importance of sustainable libraries and will uphold these values.

Add the Sustainability Round Table to your ALA membership and join us as we clear a path toward climate justice!

The SustainRT Board:

Rene M. Tanner, Coordinator

Jodi Shaw, Coordinator-Elect

Madeleine Charney, Immediate Past Coordinator

Kate Foster Hutchens, Secretary

Lindsay L. Marlow, Treasurer

Mary Beth Lock, Member-at-Large

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Member-at-Large