Meet our SustainRT Candidates for Treasurer!

Ameet Doshi

My name is Ameet and I am passionate about sustainability and libraries. I’m currently a librarian at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA, and working on a transformational $77 million project that involves a complete rethinking of the academic research library spaces and services (“Library Next”). As part of this initiative, I have been able to leverage my LEED AP credential to influence the sustainability of our new leading-edge green library. I would appreciate your vote!

Casey Conlin

For the past 3 years, I’ve been working with the Sustainability Initiative of the New York Library Association to define what sustainability means for libraries, and to create tools to help librarians make their organizations and their communities resilient places where people can thrive. Our work focuses on the triple bottom line of sustainability to ensure all library services and programs are socially equitable, economically feasible, and environmentally sound. As Treasurer, I hope to help connect SustainRT with our members to figure out how to bring the best resources to librarians to help them build relationships in their communities, and increase access to their services in affordable, environmentally-responsible ways.

Meet our SustainRT Candidates for Secretary!

Denise Brush

I believe that I am well-qualified to contribute to the ALA Sustainability Round Table as Secretary due to my experiences with serving as a secretary for various organizations, with academic and public librarianship, and with sustainability and environmental issues. My undergraduate degree is in civil and environmental engineering, and I have been science and engineering librarian at Rowan University in New Jersey for 12 years. Prior to that I worked in a public library for 3 years. Over the past several years I have been active in local environmental groups such as Food & Water Watch and Transition Towns US. I serve on the environmental commission in my town, which holds a Bronze Certification from Sustainable Jersey. I was the secretary of my neighborhood civic association as well as secretary of the Green Party of Delaware for 2 years, and have been secretary of the Green Party of New Jersey since 2016. I believe passionately that both sustainability and libraries have important roles to play in our immediate future. I am excited about the initiatives that SUSTAIN-RT has been working on and believe that my organizational skills can help bring them to fruition successfully.

Lisa Kropp

As past secretary for the Youth Services Section of my state association (NYLA), I have experience in taking and posting accurate minutes in a timely, organized fashion. I joined NYLA’s Sustainability Initiative because I wanted to help my local community move forward using the triple bottom line of environmental, economic, and social equity. Part of my work with NYLA-SI was having my library serve as a pilot site for its sustainable libraries benchmark program. Today, we are one of thirty libraries fully participating in the just launched sustainable libraries benchmark certification. My work for the Sustainability Initiative also focuses on creating curriculum and serving as a mentor and trainer for the Community Change Agents program, also in its pilot year. We work with five library/community partner teams on projects that promote resiliency and sustainability. If elected to the SustainRT board as Secretary, I hope to assist the group with share knowledge gained from my state’s commitment to sustainable library practices so that SustainRT can begin to cross pollinate across the different ALA divisions and increase both its membership and ability to work with libraries across the country on developing sustainable communities and workplaces.

Meet our SustainRT Candidates for Member-a-Large!

Tina Chan

As a social sciences librarian at MIT Libraries, I specialize in the areas of energy and the environment in the social sciences. My role includes collaborating with librarian colleagues who specialize in energy and the environment in science, engineering, and urban studies and planning. By supporting MIT’s minors in energy studies and in environment & sustainability, I am able to build on the robust collections for students and faculty members.

I am interested in SustainRT’s member-at-large position to be more involved with sustainability and libraries. Sustainability affects everyone, and libraries provide information to help the world be a better place. Libraries are the center of our communities as they provide access to information for everyone, and we create a positive impact in our communities. I believe I can make a difference if elected by promoting the importance of sustainability and libraries through education and advocating the vital work we do.

Joseph Fox

My desire is for communities to realize their potential to conserve resources, teach them how to advocate for clean air and soil, grow useful plants, and redesign spaces to actuate all of these things. I believe that libraries are situated at a place and in a time in which we can use our collective energy to advocate for a cleaner and more efficient world, one that evolves away from reliance on fossil fuels.

I have almost 20 years experience in libraries of many kinds, and have been involved in walkability initiatives, employee health, community battery collection, and redesigning spaces. Foundational to my career is reuse and recycling of our materials, and I also led a composting program in 2012 that left one of our branch libraries with a sustainable resource.

The aims of SustainRT should be to share and promote ways that libraries can realize ways to conserve and also to make partnerships across our communities that permit us all to change the paradigm on resource conservation.

Arlene Hopkins

Serving on the SustainRT board as a Member-at-Large will enable me to bring 30+ years of experience as an educator, architect and library planner to comprehensive sustainability and resilience in library planning, programs, collections and facilities.  Friends and I have created a Facebook page “Cultivating Urban Resilience – Next Gen Libraries.”

I would like to be a resource for librarians working to integrate sustainability and resilience into their libraries, and to develop linkages and networks across our communities.  Please note my experience at  or read “Sustainability in Public Libraries: Creating a hub for resilient and sustainable community culture,” Arlene Hopkins and Stephen Maack | June 23, 2017.   I have presented twice at ALA on sustainable library planning, including 2017 Chicago where I spoke on  “Next Gen Library Planning: Strategic Library Planning for Sustainability and Resilience in Community.”

Scott Kushner

The primary concerns of sustainability – environmental, economic and social justice and equality are not just a preference but an absolute necessity for the survival of our communities, whether it’s local, nationally and/or globally. We need to find a way to effectively communicate this to all the stakeholders in our communities, starting with our library community (e.g. staff, Boards, whole systems, etc.) so that we can take a leadership role in helping to make our entire citizenry lead sustainable lives. In my personal life I have been actively involved in supporting remedying environmental and social concerns. I am an active member of the NYLA Sustainability Initiative as well as being involved in beginning a local initiative modeled on NYLA’s.

Meet our SustainRT Candidates for Coordinator-Elect

Uta Hussong-Christian

I am delighted, once again, to introduce myself as a candidate for Chair-elect of SustainRT. I grew up grounded in practices of sustainability; my siblings and I learned there was a different way to be in the world. Those early lessons stayed with me and now serve me well in my personal and work lives. Today the best lessons coming out of communities like SustainRT or my city’s Sustainability Coalition are that there is ALWAYS more to learn and that there are so many more ways to apply that knowledge than I, alone, understand. SustainRT’s mission to exchange ideas or opportunities and to present resources relevant to sustainability speaks to this beautifully.

I seek out this leadership opportunity not because I know all there is to know but because I have some pieces of experience to offer to the collective effort. If elected as SustainRT Chair-elect, I bring my experience with leading member-driven organizations (as President of ACRL’s Oregon chapter); my experience with starting new initiatives (a compostables collection program at Oregon State University Libraries); and my willingness to continue learning to live more sustainably.

Jill Friedmann

I have a background in museums and archives. My master’s degree is in Museum Studies, not Library Science. So it may not surprise some of you to hear me say that I believe part of the future of sustainable libraries includes a workforce from varied backgrounds. Of course we need people with library science degrees, but we need to be open to hiring people with other skills sets and that means other types of degrees. As Coordinator-Elect, I hope to spend the first year learning the ropes behind the scenes of SustainRT so that when I become the Coordinator in year two I can keep supporting the roundtable initiatives and help the membership moving forward. Libraries are the resource centers for our communities and we should set the example in our communities as sustainability leaders. SustainRT should, can, and does provide its membership with resources to become those leaders and my role as Coordinator-Elect will be to ensure those efforts continue and expand.

Meet our candidates for ALA President!

Wanda Brown

I see the role of sustainability as critical to our organization.  As an information association, we are the voice to our profession. We have to be the link between what we want our libraries to model as well as the educator and training around current relevant topics. I see the Sustainability round table as the primary developer of guiding principles and the facilitator of outreach programs that encourage sustainability efforts within libraries.  Your mission is to educate, inform and connect. I see your round table as the driving force for developing and sharing of values and initiating programs that can be replicated throughout any and all libraries. The task of educating is a revolving door that never closes.

As President of ALA I will definitely support the work of the round table. Collaboration remains the key for us in educating our communities.  Combining forces with other affiliates will increase the number of people we reach. In keeping with the theme of “Libraries Lead” perhaps we could launch a state by state campaign of planned events around sustainability education. The communities we serve are still not as knowledgeable as we’d like around the issues of environmental and economic consequences associated with our actions. Not only partnering with other divisions of ALA, we also encourage libraries to collaborate with other community groups. We could launch a national day/week of collaborative programming within each county.

Peter Hepburn

Sustainability is relevant to the entirety of ALA.  There is not one of us – member or staff – who is not touched in some way by what sustainability means.  Whether we define it in terms of environmentally responsible practices, or we think of it more broadly in terms of how ALA manages and maintains its many assets, the concept should matter to us all.  We see this in our libraries already.  As my campaign site ( declares, “Libraries sustain our communities and institutions”.  They serve as models and resources for sustainable practices.  ALA can provide the space for exchange of ideas such that more and more libraries adopt and further disseminate those practices.

Sustainability of and within ALA is a priority for my presidency.  I eagerly await the report of the Task Force on Sustainability, and I will focus on ensuring its recommendations come to fruition.  I also want to facilitate collaboration and cooperation across the various ALA units so that work on sustainability will be shared.  SustainRT could be a partner for so many others – think of how it could contribute to divisional conferences, or how it could develop programs and tools with any other round table – and as president, I want to encourage those partnerships as much as possible.

I learned a lot from SustainRT (and joined it!) in my three years as its Executive Board liaison, and I am keen that the interests of the round table become the interests of the association as a whole.

“You Don’t Have to “Go Big” to Make a Difference” – Webinar archive now available!

Did you miss the webinar on March 1st, You Don’t Have to “Go Big” to Make a Difference: How Our Purchasing Choices and Daily Habits Can Build a More Sustainable Society?

Our presenter for this webinar, Sharon Rowe, CEO and Founder of Eco-Bags Products, Inc., is recognized as a thought leader in social innovation and sustainable, responsible clean supply chain production.  In this recording of the March 1, 2018 SustainRT webinar, she shares her experiences in building a profitable, mission & value aligned business while maintaining a healthy work/life balance – topics covered in her new book “The Magic of Tiny Business: You Don’t Have to Go Big to Make a Great Living”.

Click here to view the webinar archive.

SustainRT at ALA Midwinter, 2018

Are you planning to attend ALA Midwinter 2018?  Make SustainRT part of your conference experience!  Please see the conference schedule for locations.

  • Saturday, 2/10 @ 3-4pm – Business Meeting
  • Saturday, 2/10 @5:30-7:30pm – Social Event!
  • Sunday, 2/11 @1-2:30pm – Discussion: Crisis and Community
  • Monday, 2/12 @10:30-11:30am – News You Can Use: Sustainability Strategies for Libraries and Communities (Symposium on the Future of Libraries)

Nine Reasons for Hope in a World Out of Whack – Webinar Archive Now Available!

Did you miss the webinar on November 9th, 2017, Nine Reasons for Hope in a World Out of Whack, with speaker Ellen Moyer, author of the book Our Earth, Our Species, Our Selves: How to Thrive While Creating a Sustainable World?

Ellen Moyer

Dr. Moyer, a registered professional engineer and a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional, helps government agencies and Fortune 500 companies clean up hazardous waste sites, prevent environmental damage, analyze impacts, and provide educational outreach. She spoke to us about reasons for hope that we can solve dire environmental problems, such as climate change, and shared how we can successfully upgrade to a high-tech and high-nature way of life that will sustain us and our fellow species far into the future. Dr. Moyer also shared the concrete actions that we can take to help ourselves and our world at the same time, including the one most important action for getting started.

Click HERE to view the archived webinar!

Call for SustainRT Candidates, 2018

Hi SustainRT members,

Are you passionate about sustainability in libraries? Would you like a leadership opportunity on the board of SustainRT? We are a fun group of engaged individuals. Speaking from personal experience, I have served as chair-elect, chair, and now outgoing chair. It has been an opportunity to learn, grow and work with colleagues from all over the country. We are looking for nominees for the following positions:

  • Chair-elect (3 year – chair elect, chair, outgoing chair)
  • Secretary (2 year)
  • Treasurer (2 year)
  • Member-at-Large (2 year)

Nominate yourself by following this link and filling out your candidate information.  The deadline is January 18, 2018.

If you are interested in any one of these positions and want to know more, please contact Rene Tanner, email:  rene.tanner [at symbol]

–Rene Tanner (Member SustainRT Governance Committee and Outgoing Chair)

Here’s are some comments from current board members about what to expect:

Participating on the SustainRT board as a Member at Large gives you a great deal of latitude to decide on the particular way you’d like to provide support to the organization.  In my own experience, I have focused most of my attention to developing programming for mid-winter and annual conferences. I, along with some very stellar volunteers who serve on the programming Committee, develop ideas for conference presentations, identify and work with presenters, and submit conference proposals.  I’ve taken part in monthly Board Meeting calls and weighed in on issues related to the Board governance.  The time involved in all of this is approximately 1-3 hours per month.  Please consider helping us do this important work!

-Mary Beth Lock (Member-at-Large, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018)

As the Chair-Elect, I joined the SustainRT board in July 2017.  This gives me a chance to observe and take part in discussions as I prepare for my own term as Chair.  There is one online board meeting a month with follow-up, and I’m also the board liaison for the Outreach Committee so I won’t lie– this position takes some time and effort.  We are working on programs for ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences, trying to keep social media active and interesting, organizing webinars, and doing our best to promote sustainability as a core value of librarianship.  it feels like valuable work and it’s exciting to help make a difference at a national level.  Being on the board has also given me new credibility to work on sustainability issues at my home institution.

–Amy Brunvand (Chair-Elect, June 30, 2017, to July 1, 2018)


Conference Report: AASHE Annual Conference, 2017

By Betsy Evans

The AASHE Annual Conference and Expo in San Antonio in mid-October (October 15 – 18) was the confluence of a few thousand sustainability professionals and faculty from institutions of higher education around the world. And perhaps only one librarian. (My tweet got only three hearts and no replies!)

Tweet from Betsy E: Any librarians going to @AASHENews Annual Conference in San Antonio? #AASHE2017Sul Ross State University, the public state University for which I work, has agreed to include STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) in our strategic plan for the next five years. I know I’m not the only librarian involved in AASHE, because my inspiration to attend this conference was rooted in Amy Brunvand’s SustainRT webinar, “STARS and Beyond: Adventures of an embedded Librarian in the Campus Sustainability Office.”

I attended the conference as a representative of my institution’s Sustainability Council more than as a librarian, but – once a librarian, always a librarian – I chose to attend lectures on topics related to information literacy and was especially drawn toward ones dealing with mapping sustainability into the curriculum. It was during the Q&A of each session I attended that I made the big reveal by asking about how libraries played into these wonderfully inspirational projects, initiatives and research.

Only one session stood out as a true “library session,” that is, a session on the development of a textbook lending library at Connecticut College. A great idea, no doubt, but I could hardly restrain my frustration when I asked why they hadn’t included the institutional Library on their project when their main challenges were figuring out how to best catalog their collection and how to or whether to charge late fees. (The Lending Library: Addressing Textbook Affordability and Reducing Waste)

The opening keynote speaker, Katharine Hayhoe, the Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University who is well known for her ability to talk across the aisle about climate change, is always an inspiration. But it was Heather Hackman’s closing keynote, along with her October 16 session, “An Introduction to the Role of Race, Class and Gender Issues on Campus Sustainability Work,” who drove the theme of the conference – “Stronger in Solidarity” – reminding me of Hafuboti (Rebecca McCorkindale)’s popular 2017 campaign, “Libraries are for everyone.”  (Hackman is a consultant focusing on social justice and equity.)

By asking questions and having conversations at the Conference’s many “coffee and networking” events and in the halls following sessions, people realized right before my eyes that the concepts of libraries and librarians include many foundations of sustainability. Yes, libraries are for everyone. Yes, libraries are unique places – third places, cornerstones of democracy, places for public trust.

On a personal level, this conference solidified a faculty-library divide that I’ve been feeling in my own institution. But there were moments of pure bliss, too: I had two wonderful conversations with students who were at AASHE for sustainability reasons but had been leaning toward librarianship as a field of study. They “got” it – and that was inspiring.

The takeaway? This annual conference is begging for more librarians to showcase sustainability initiatives and perhaps more importantly, to take part in conversations and level up institutional libraries as transformational spaces for sustainability thinking and leadership.


Betsy Evans is a librarian living and working in Alpine, Texas, currently as the Education and Outreach Librarian at Sul Ross State University. Betsy received her M.S.I.S. from the University of North Texas in 2013 and worked in numerous roles for the Austin (Texas) Public Library before transitioning to academic librarianship in 2016. While interning for the Austin Public Library’s nationally-recognized Recycled Reads bookstore, Betsy served as SustainRT’s first Treasurer. Betsy currently serves on the Sul Ross State University Sustainability Council and the City of Alpine’s Keep Alpine Beautiful Committee. She is committed to better educating herself and her community about waste management and reduction.