Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change -- Advisors

Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change

Call for Advisors

The ALA Public Programs Office (PPO) is launching a new grant opportunity for public and academic libraries and is seeking members of the ALA Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) to serve as project advisors for Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change.

Application instructions are below, and submissions are requested by February 20, 2020.

About the project

In January 2020, ALA received funding from a private donor to launch a pilot program called Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change. Through a competitive application process, ALA will select 25 public and academic representing geographically diverse areas of the country, giving them access to:

  • A small collection of documentary films for circulation and with public performance rights (PPR)
  • A programming guide that provides an overview of project/film themes, sample discussion questions for post-screening events, ideas for supplemental programming, instructions for adopting/adapting related programming models, and lists of supporting content (e.g., books, short videos, websites, other films)
  • Access to an online forum for idea exchange and support during the public programming period (6 months)
  • A $1,000 cash grant to support local program plans described in their proposal
  • Invitations to engage in additional, related professional development opportunities via webinars, conferences, and workshops

Applications will open in spring 2020, date TBD, and details will be posted online at

Advisor opportunity

ALA will select three national project advisors to support content development and provide advisory consultation to the ALA staff project team during an 11-month term (March 2020 – January 2021). Advisors will be selected for their experience developing local programs for public audiences that address climate change, building partnerships and local coalitions that support those programs, and sharing replicable elements of their work with the library profession.

Candidates who have a demonstrated history of developing and hosting inclusive, culturally responsive programming and outreach efforts for their climate change programming will receive priority consideration. As ALA seeks to recruit a diverse group of advisors, applicants are invited but not required to share information about their racial and ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or cognitive differences, and age within their statement of interest.

Desired qualifications/experience:

  • 1-3 years of experience developing library programs that support community resilience and sustainability by addressing issues relating to climate change
  • 1-3 years of experience building local partnerships and conducting outreach to bring programs to the broadest and most inclusive range of audience members
  • Experience and/or interest in designing, developing, and delivering training (in-person or online) that focuses on public library programs that respond to climate change
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in collaborative planning and resource development
  • Interest in and strong commitment to advancing public understanding of the climate crisis, and positioning libraries to lead in coalition building, information sharing, community preparedness, and solution-oriented innovation
  • Strong writing skills
  • Current membership in ALA’s Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT)
  • MLS preferred

Successful candidates must:

  • Participate in collaborative creation of a Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change programming guide, which will be published online and made freely available to the library community and the general public. For an example of an ALA programming guide, see The Great American Read: A Programming Guide for Libraries.
  • Participate in one-hour, monthly web-based planning meetings, March 2020 – January 2021.
  • Prepare and deliver at least one hour-long webinar for pilot libraries that focuses on professional development, topics TBD.
  • Be available to provide feedback on critical project content, as needed (e.g., review of selection guidelines for 25 pilot libraries).

ALA PPO will provide each project advisor with:

  • A $2,000 honorarium payable in two installments, at the beginning and end of the project term
  • Acknowledgement in related publications

How to apply

To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A statement addressing your interest in serving as a Resilient Libraries project advisor and highlighting your relevant qualifications (800 words max.). Please provide links or attachments that demonstrate your experience with program and partnership development and/or audience outreach efforts.
  2. Your résumé.

The single PDF application must be submitted via email by 9 a.m. Central on Thursday, February 20, 2020 to Lainie Castle, PPO project director, at Questions may be directed to Elena Pepe-Salutric, PPO program coordinator, at or 312-280-5286.

ALA staff will review applications in conversation with the Sustain RT Steering Committee and make final selection decisions. All applicants will be notified of their status by February 28, 2020.