Meet Naomi Clewett, Candidate for Treasurer of SustainRT!

Greetings SustainRT members!

My name is Naomi Clewett and I am a candidate for SustainRT Treasurer. Over the past few years I have enjoyed participating in the SustainRT community virtually through the listserv. I’ve appreciated the great resources that have been shared, and have benefited from members’ helpful responses to my queries about establishing a monarch waystation at my library and seeking a healthier receipt paper option. (On that note, Appvion has product called “Alpha Free” that uses Vitamin C instead of BPA or BPS. The print is lighter than conventional thermal receipt paper, but if your community will tolerate that you might want to check it out.)

As a member of the nominating committee for this election cycle I was aware that no one had sought the role of Treasurer close to the deadline, so I put myself forward. I was pleased to discover that we have a great candidate in Lindsay Marlow.  I will be voting for Lindsay and urge you to as well!

Meet Amy Brunvand, Candidate for Coordinator Elect of SustainRT!

The amplification of our lives by technology grants us a power over the natural world which we can no longer afford to use.  In everything we do we must be mindful of the lives of others, cautions, constrained, meticulous. We may no longer live as if there were no tomorrow.   –George Monbiot

Amy BrunvandHi, my name is Amy Brunvand and I’m running for Coordinator Elect of SustainRT.

I’m an academic librarian at the University of Utah where I’m a government information specialist and the librarian liaison for programs in Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Environmental Humanities.  Like Art Dog, I lead a secret double life — Librarian by day, writer (and sometimes tango dancer) by night.

How did you become interested in libraries and sustainability?

Back in 1992 I read Bill McKibben’s The Age of Missing Information and wrote a largely un-read op-ed for Colorado Libraries magazine about preserving hyper-local information in the interest of what, at the time, was not yet called sustainability. I was also inspired by Wendell Berry’s ideas about the importance of place and the do-it-yourself ethos of “Whole Earth Review” (before it became obsessed with computer technology). To me, the essential link between libraries and sustainability is community engagement, and I recently co-authored an article about using government information to inform sustainability. Since 2001 I have written a monthly environmental news column for Catalyst magazine. My goal is to connect the dots between local issues, public policy and citizen groups. Through this writing I realized that the library is an ideal place to nurture ecologically literate, engaged citizenship, so a few years ago I jumped at an opportunity to change my liaison work from math/computer science to environment/sustainability studies.

What motivated you to run for Coordinator Elect of SustainRT?

Frankly, alternatives to sustainability are pretty scary. I feel a sense of urgency about the state of the world and I’d like an excuse to spend more time working on sustainability issues. There is a lot of synergy between the Big Ideas of Sustainability and the Core Values of Librarianship, and we librarians are in a great position to facilitate the transition to more sustainable and resilient future. Opportunities to promote sustainability exist in all areas of librarianship, not just green buildings. For instance, I’ve noticed that articles about whether eBooks or print books are more sustainable nearly always point out that borrowing library books is the most sustainable choice. Richard Louv suggests that libraries could be “naturebraries” that serve as hubs of bioregional knowledge. Another crucial role for libraries is enabling patrons to make a difference since change usually comes from the grassroots up; as Wendell Berry says, “The “leaders” will have to be led.”

How do you see the role of SustainRT?

SustainRT is the Jiminy Cricket of ALA, a little voice that keeps insisting sustainability is important. We are off to a great start and I’d like to keep the energy high. I hope we will develop our sense of community, maybe working with the Outreach Chair to host an online reading group, or a question-of-the-month discussion. Besides webinars and conference programs, SustainRT should be an incubator for practical ideas.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Sustainability can be fun!  Here’s an example of a student project I love: MovingU aims to reduce air pollution by encouraging alternative transportation choices.  As part of the project students gathered personal stories about air quality (I’m flattered that they picked a story I wrote). The library helped with information, tech support, promotion and archiving but students are the ones driving this project.

REFERENCES

Amy Brunvand (1992) “Resource Sharing and the Importance of Place.” Colorado Libraries, 18 (2), pp. 22-24.

Amy Brunvand & Ambra Gagliardi(2015) “Sustainability, Relocalization, Citizen Activism and Government Information.”  Dttp: Documents to the People, 43(2), pp..10-13.

Richard Louv (2008) Last child in the woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

George Monbiot (2014) Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life.

Bill McKibben (1992) The Age of Missing Information.

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!

How can you help your library customers breathe easier?

Equitable access to resources is an issue that affects the sustainability of our communities.  Access to vital resources, such as clean air and water, should be a basic right, but as recent events have demonstrated, is not always guaranteed.  In low-income and affluent communities alike, air quality can have an enormous impact on our health and quality of life. Perhaps you’ve noticed the effects of pollution and poor air quality in your community, and have wondered how your library can help.  But, have you thought about the quality of the air in your customers’ homes? For some library users, air quality in the home is a real concern, while others may not have ever thought deeply about the issue, but have experienced the effects of breathing toxins in daily while in their homes. And, if they have thought about the problem, some library customers may not know how they can accurately measure the air quality in their homes, or may lack the funds to hire a service or to purchase the equipment to do so.  To give individuals a way to address this problem, researchers from the CREATE Lab at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute developed a portable in-home sensor, the Speck monitor, that can determine indoor air quality by measuring the particles released in homes from household cleaners, pesticides, building materials, and more. The Speck monitor is now produced by Airviz Inc. (a spinoff of the CREATE Lab), and is manufactured under a license from Carnegie Mellon University.  In recogniztion of the fact that many of those who suffer most from the effects of poor indoor air-quality have low incomes, Airviz Inc. has developed a program to help bring the Speck technology to those who can’t afford to purchase their own.  To do so, Airviz Inc. is partnering with 100 public libraries to offer three devices to each, provided that the libraries will agree to circulate the Speck monitors in their communities.  To find out more about the Speck monitors, click here.  To find out more about the National Speck Library Program, and to fill out an application, click here.

Have you heard of another great program related to equity and sustainability? Add a comment below to share this information with the SustainRT community!

Posted by Christina J. J. Gangwisch

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/

Ebsco Information Services Offers Solar Grant

If your library is looking for a way to reduce the cost of utilities, and become more sustainable, check out the new Go Solar grant from Ebsco Information Services!  Ebsco’s Go Solar grant program will fund up to $150,000 for one or more libraries to install solar panels.  Interested libraries are invited to submit questions to Ebsco about the program up until February 29th.  Grant applications are due by April 29th.  The winner(s) will be announced on June 24th, 2016 at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando.  

Ebsco is committed to Corporate Social Responsibility, and gives 5% of its pre-tax revenue to charity.  Ebsco was inspired to initiate the Go Solar program as a result of its own use of solar panels, the first of which were installed in at the Ipswich, Massachusetts campus in 2007. To help minimize its impact on the environment, and build a more sustainable community, Ebsco also provides employees with electric vehicle charging stations free of charge, replaced its fleet of gasoline-powered company cars with hybrids, uses 100% recycled paper products, and has a certified Green Cafeteria.  For more information about Ebsco’s green initiatives, click here

Upcoming SustainRT Webinar!

Please join us Thursday, February 4, 2016, 12:15 – 12:45 pm (EST) for our next SustainRT Webinar – Collaborating for sustainability: community and publisher partnerships and the book to action program

Webinar topic: Local community organizations and publishers can be valuable partners for libraries in creating sustainability-oriented programming. Join us on February 4 for this free SustainRT webinar to learn as Sally Thomas and Michael Weaver describe Book-to-Action programs which extend the idea of a book discussion by not only scheduling an author/speaker, but also partnering with a public service organization for a volunteer day or other community service opportunity. For more information, see the Book-to-Action Toolkit.

REGISTER NOW!