History of SustainRT

Would you like to know more about the history of SustainRT?  Here are some useful sources of information:

[Website]
SustainRT History URL: http://www.ala.org/rt/sustainrt/sustainrt-history

Abstract: The ALA Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) morphed out of ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Task Force on the Environment (TFOE) during “Libraries for Sustainability,” a four-part series of free webinars offered in 2012. New leaders emerged from our virtual “grass roots” to form an interim steering committee. The next step was gathering 100 signatures for the petition to create SustainRT. More than 100 were gathered. At Midwinter 2013, SRRT leadership gave us their blessing as such, and approval of the Round Table at ALA Council was swift.

[Webinar]
Libraries for Sustainability: a Four Part Webinar Series.  Facilitators: Madeleine Charney, Bonnie J. Smith, Beth Filar-Williams.   URL: https://greeningyourlibrary.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/libraries-for-sustainability-a-four-part-webinar-series/

Abstract

“A Call to Action” – Part 1 of Webinar Series “Libraries for Sustainability” February 28, 2012.

“Exploring Sustainability Practices in Libraries” – Part 2 of Webinar Series “Libraries for Sustainability” April 24, 2012.

“Engagement in Professional Library Organizations” – Part 3 of Webinar Series “Libraries for Sustainability” June 12, 2012.

“Exploring More Sustainability Practices in Libraries” – Part 4 of Webinar Series “Libraries for Sustainability” August 28, 2012.

[Journal Article]
Williams, Beth Filar, Madeleine Charney, and Bonnie Smith. “Growing our vision together: forming a sustainability community within the American Library Association.” Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 11, no. 2 (2015). URL: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1044&context=librarian_pubs

Abstract: In 2014, after two years of focused research and promotion, the American Library Association (ALA) approved a new group, the Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT). This article describes how library advocates built SustainRT over the years and gained momentum with a pivotal webinar series. Clear signs of SustainRT’s early success are a testimony to the critical need for a sustainability-related Community of Practice (CoP). The article shows how the steps taken to achieve this national group’s standing can serve as a model for fostering dialogue and collaboration (often through virtual means) that allows for wide participation.

[Poster]
Charney, Madeleine and Smith, Bonnie and Filar Williams, Beth (2016) Growing our Vision Together: A Sustainability Community within the American Library Association. Poster presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 101 – Poster Sessions.  URL: http://library.ifla.org/1539/

Abstract: This poster reports on the formation of the American Library Association (ALA) Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) in 2013, the result of an urgent call to action for a unified effort to address the new millennium’s environmental, economic and social sustainability challenges within the library profession in the United States and Canada. This poster identifies the technologies, processes, roles and other factors that led to the founding of SustainRT, as well as providing a vision for the future based on its participatory and inclusive structure.

[Documents]

  • SustainRT Annual Report 2016-2017
  • ALA Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries (2015)
  • ALA Task force on Sustainability (2015).
    The formation of the ALA Task Force on Sustainability is a direct outgrowth of the 2015 resolution introduced by SustainRT and co-chaired by SustainRT’s Immediate Past Coordinator, Rene Tanner and Chair of the Governance Committee, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich.  The Task Force is charged to develop a white paper that describes areas of focus and recommendations for the ALA Executive Board to increase the adoption and implementation of
    sustainable practices by the Association, the profession, libraries and the
    communities they serve. Timeline: Interim report to the ALA Executive Board, 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver; Final report to the ALA Executive Board, 2018 ALA Annual Conference, New Orleans

Special ALA Task Force on Sustainability Formed

Jim NealALA president Jim Neal has announced the formation of a  A new Task Force on Sustainability in order to help increase implementation of sustainable practices by the Association, the profession, libraries, and their communities.

The Special ALA Task Force on Sustainability is charged to develop a white paper that describes areas of focus and recommendations for the ALA Executive Board to increase the adoption and implementation of sustainable practices by the Association, the profession, libraries and the communities they serve.
The ALA Executive Board has asked the Task Force to develop a white paper, and to deliver a final report by the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.
Members of the Task Force are Monika Antonelli (Minnesota State University), Sara Dallas (Southern Adirondack Library System), Adrian K. Ho (University of Kentucky Libraries), Traci Engel Lesneski (MSR, MN), Margaret Sullivan (Margaret Sullivan Studio, NY), Margaret Woodruff (Charlotte Library, VT), and Christian Zabriskie (Urban Libraries Unite, NY). The Task Force will be co-chaired by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (Mid-Hudson Library System) and Rene M. Tanner (Arizona State University). The staff liaison will be Mary Ghikas (ALA Senior Associate Executive Director – and Interim Executive Director), working with Danielle Alderson (ALA Member Programs and Services).

Free SustainRT Membership for Students!

The ALA Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) is pleased to announce free memberships for LIS students!

Beginning September 1, 2017, students may join SustainRT for free. To qualify for a free membership, students must be:

  •  Currently enrolled in ALA-accredited Master of Library Science/Master of Library and Information Science (MLS/MLIS) program.
  • Student members of ALA.

SustainRT strives to achieve a more equitable, healthy and economically viable society by providing resources for the library community to support sustainability through curriculum development; collections; exhibits; events; advocacy, communication, library buildings and space design. SustainRT is a member of the ALA’s recently formed Office of Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) which supports library and information science workers in creating responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community.

Membership affords ample leadership opportunities to infuse sustainability throughout the library profession.

Inquiries may be directed to Madeleine Charney, Chair, SustainRT Membership Committee mcharney [at] library.umass.edu

Press Release: http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2017/08/sustainability-round-table-announces-free-student-memberships

Announcing the SustainRT Travel Award!

SustainRT will grant a $500 Travel Award to one individual for the purpose of attending ALA Annual 2017. The award will come in the form of a reimbursement and may be applied to travel, lodging or conference registration expenses. 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.* The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM on March 15, 2017. The Travel Award committee will select the top three videos and post them to the SustainRT Facebook page by March 22, 2017. The video to receive the most “likes” by 11:59 PM on March 31, 2017 will win the $500 Travel Award (in the event of a tie, the Travel Award judges determine the winner). The winner of the Travel Award will be announced on the SustainRT blog (http://olos.ala.org/sustainrt/) on April 1, 2017.

To submit your video, go here: https://goo.gl/forms/d9TlSae3ABkQKHdy2

*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!

A letter from the SustainRT Board

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: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials.

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

ALA Annual 2017 Speaker!

We are excited to announce that Bill McKibben will be a featured speaker at ALA Annual 2017!

Bill McKibben is co-founder and Senior Advisor at 350.org, an international, grass roots climate movement that leverages people power to develop people-centric solutions to the climate crisis. McKibben is a prolific writer and opened the general public’s eyes to the urgency of climate change back in 1989 with his book The End of Nature, which has been published worldwide in over 24 languages. Among his many related books are Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age; Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet; Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families; and Hope, Human and Wild: True Stories of Living Lightly on the Earth.

McKibben suggests that we conceptualize climate change as a threat on the order of World War III and respond accordingly. With this mindset we can make societal shifts similar to those experienced in the 1940’s wartime era and move to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage. There is urgency to his message as climate change is happening more quickly than scientists anticipated. McKibben argues that the status quo is a luxury we cannot afford. The nonviolent war that McKibben proposes will save lives and has the potential to produce millions of jobs.

His address is made possible through the partnership of SustainRT, ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table, the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, and the American Indian Library Association. We are honored and fortunate to have Mr. McKibben join us at ALA Annual to bring us his insights into the role of libraries during a time of climate change.

Date, time, and location of McKibben’s featured address at ALA annual in Chicago are forthcoming.

To help us bring this important program to ALA and support our ongoing work, please consider making a donation to ALA’s Sustainability Roundtable (SustainRT). The instructions to ensure it gets to SustainRT are below. Thank you for anything you can contribute!

To Make a Donation

Online donations are accepted at the Donate to ALA website. Select ALA Roundtables and choose SustainRT for your donation.

If you prefer to mail your donation, please fill out the online form, print it out, and send a check, payable to ALA at:

American Library Association
Development Office
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611

The American Library Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Our federal tax identification number is 36-2166947.

SustainRT Election Results!

The election results are in, and we’d like to congratulate the following:

  • Jodi Shaw – Coordinator-Elect (three year term)
  • Rebekkah Smith Aldrich – Member-at-Large (one year term)
  • Mary Beth Lock – Member-at-Large (two year term)
  • Lindsay L. Marlow – Treasurer (two year term)
  • Kate Hutchens – Secretary (two year term)

To all of our candidates, thank you for your interest and your dedication to the Sustainability Round Table!.  To our elected officials, thank you in advance for the time and energy that you will devote to our Round Table during your terms. To our SustainRT members, thank you for voting!

ALA Elections!

ALA elections are open through April 22nd, and SustainRT has the following candidates:

Coordinator Elect:

  • Jodi Shaw – Children’s Librarian, Brooklyn Public Library
  • Amy Brunvand – Librarian, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Member-at-Large (One Year Term):

  • Amanda Sue Avery – Outreach & Assessment Librarian, Marywood University
  • Rebekkah Smith Aldrich – Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Mid-Hudson Library System
  • Kylie Tamar Bailin – Director of Outreach and Access Services, Lafayette College
  • Laura Barnes – Sustainability Information Curator, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
  • Tara Lingg – Librarian, Half Hollow Hills Community Library
  • Janice Williams – Adult Services Librarian, Coquitlam Public Library
  • Margaret Dagny Palmer Woodruff – Director, Charlotte Library

Member-at-Large (Two Year Term):

  • Deborah Emerson – Executive Director, Central NY Library Resources Council
  • Mary Beth Lock – Director of Access Services, Wake Forest University

Treasurer:

  • Lindsay L. Marlow – Science Librarian, University of South Dakota
  • Naomi Renee Clewett – Circulation Supervisor, Village Branch Library,  Lexington Public Library

Secretary:

  • Kate Hutchens, Reader and Reference Services Librarian, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library)

Check the blog during the next few weeks to see posts from our candidates and learn more about them!

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

We are looking for presenters who would like to share their sustainability-related library projects during our program at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando.

Format: Presenters will have five minutes each to tell their story, 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 Sunday, June 26th from 10:30-11:30AM.

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 jnosek@chipublib.org with the following:

  • Name
  • Institution or organization
  • Phone
  • Email
  • 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 are due by Monday, April 4, 2016.

For more information about SustainRT, including how to become a member, see: http://www.ala.org/sustainrt/