The Journal of Critical Library & Information Studies is seeking submissions on the theme of libraries and archives in the Anthropocene.
Deadline for submission, June 30, 2018.
Please read the attached .pdf for details and how to submit.
Put sustainability on your schedule at the ALA! The SustainRT business/membership meeting and programs will be on Sunday 6/24/2018 at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans .
Please use the online conference schedule to verify times and locations
SustainRT Sponsored Programs
Look for the SustainRT poster on Sustainabilty and Diversity at the Diversity and Outreach Fair, Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 3:30pm – 5:00pm on the Exhibits Floor in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
- 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
The Rising Tide: How Libraries Sustain a Planet in Crisis
- 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
SUSTAINRT: Sustainability Round Table Business and Membership
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
ALA Sustainability Round Table Orientation: Lighting Rounds!
Throughout the ALA conference there are many programs that address sustainability topics like green buildings, civic engagement, social justice, resilient communities and climate change. Please add a comment if you’d like to call attention to other ALA programs that would be of interest to SustainRT members.
If like me, you are hovering in the dark spaces between Kubler Ross’s bargaining, depression and acceptance, there is some comfort to be had in the words of Elizabeth West, in Abandon All Hope!. West boldly implores us to “abandon all hope that we can make things ‘right’ and give up the fear of what happens next.” I think I have the former part down; it’s the latter I am having trouble with.
There is not one single bolt, nut, knob or straw comprising the foundation of my day-to-day existence that does not depend upon the (collective) assumption that the future will resemble –for the most part– the present.
Many of us in the industrialized world take for granted that we will continue to enjoy all the current “conveniences” civilization offers us. Things like education, health care, prescription drugs, supermarkets, paved roads, phones, cars, buses, email, houses, etc. We assume a continuous, shared belief and agreement in such concepts as law, justice and order, amongst others. At the very least, we assume the basics: food, water, air. Each other. And we march onward, as if.
This assumption is in direct conflict with a dark undercurrent of fear that doggedly gnaws at me daily; I know very well the future does not look like the present.
But because I don’t know what the future will look like, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to prepare, how to get ready, how to survive. I don’t even know if survival is possible. And this not knowing– this is makes me most afraid.
If only we knew what it was to be. Will it be the guillotine or will it be prolonged suffering in a torture chamber of disease and unspeakable violence? Will we starve? Will there be animals? Will there be water? Will there be radiation sickness? Will we be alone? Will we have tribes? Will our children die in front of us? Will we die in front of our children?
All I know is all roads lead to a hard geography, a reality of scope and dimension we cannot fathom. We are truly the walking blind.
Lack of hope is an ugly thing. Surely denial would be better, “a form of fearing and avoiding the truth [that] keeps us from cracking up, giving up. It stands between us and the unbearable.” But once the curtain has been pulled back, once a sightline to the “little man behind the curtain, pulling strings” has been established, returning to the false safety of denial is impossible. It is no stretch to say that the current state of xenophobia racking our world, one in which those seeking refuge from domiciles which do not enjoy the same benefits of civilization that we do are denied entry into ours, whether by walls or by ideology, is an obvious effort to maintain the false safety of denial.
The knowledge that immigration policy means nothing in a world that depends upon civilization for the word “policy” to have meaning, the knowledge that no matter what we do, we will not achieve “long-term security and comfort… economic or racial justice or equality, [we] will not stop the ice sheets from melting or the radioactive Fukushima-spiked water flowing into the sea” is a hard one.
If you feel this way, know that I am with you. Know that like you, I go on pretending. I get up in the morning. I go to work. I put money into my retirement account. I fix up my house. I send and receive emails. I march against injustice. I go to conferences. I write. I worry. And slowly, with the help of a few others, whose bravery and kindness I cannot even begin to convey in words, I grieve. I turn, and I gaze full into the unknown face of the future – I feel, quite palpably, the knowledge that human extinction is a very real and probable outcome. And I hope, as I grieve, I can let go of a “desired end” and “the fear which accompanies any threat to it.”
By releasing all “attempts to control something which is no longer in our hands” I hope to feel the “liberating boldness, permission to live without attachment to outcomes.”
In other words: acceptance.
I am not quite there yet. I am guessing few of us are. In the meantime, we still have each other.
If you are interested in possibly joining me (and others) in an unrecorded, virtual discussion about the existential threats we face, get in touch. My email is jodishaw at mac dot com
And don’t forget you can respond publicly to this post in the comments field.
Jodi Shaw is a librarian and writer living in Massachusetts. She is the Coordinator of the ALA Sustainability Round Table.
Access to Information: Target 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.” (Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)
Culture, Information & Communication Technology:
Half of the world’s population lacks access to information online. In our knowledge society, libraries provide access and opportunity for all.” (Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development)
Universal Literacy: We envision…a world with universal literacy.” (Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)
Hosted by Online Education and Membership Committees
View the recorded program on the ALA SustainRT YouTube Channel
Thursday May 3rd
12-1 pm pacific, 1-2 pm mountain, 2-3 pm central, 3-4 pm eastern
No need to register. All are welcome, not just students.
We will begin with a brief history of SustainRT, some exciting initiatives, and ideas for getting involved.
Then we’ll open the floor for questions about sustainability in librarianship and how we can infuse our careers with sustainability values and contributions.
Remember, student membership for SustainRT is free when you become a member of ALA! SustainRT is almost 800 members strong (and growing) and dedicated to fostering regenerative communities and moving toward a more equitable, healthy, and economically viable society.
Students can also offer ideas and feedback through this form.
We look forward to connecting with LIS students so you to make a difference in ALA and the profession. If you would like more information, please contact any of us from the SustainRT Membership Committee.
Results for the 2018 ALA Election are in. Congratulations to our new SustainRT Board members!
- Uta Hussong-Christian, Coordinator-Elect
- Ameet Doshi, Treasurer
- Tina Chan, Member-at-Large
- Lisa Kropp, Secretary
ALA Election Results: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/alaelection
CHICAGO — In 2016-2017, the ALA Executive Board appointed a Special Task Force on Sustainability, charged with developing a white paper and recommendations for the ALA Executive Board, with the intent of increasing the adoption and implementation of sustainable practices by the Association, the profession, libraries and the communities they serve.
In its Midwinter 2018 report to the ALA Executive Board, the Task Force co-chairs noted they have focused on two questions to create a vision for the future and to translate that vision into action:
What does it look like if libraries are successful in helping create sustainable, resilient, regenerative communities?
- What needs to happen, that is not already happening, to support the Association, profession and libraries realize this vision?
The Task Force on Sustainability now seeks broad input from the ALA community. To that end, the Task Force will be holding a series of online forums targeting certain populations and capped with a general forum for those who have not had an opportunity to contribute.
The four sessions are all at the following times: 11 a.m. – Noon Pacific/noon – 1 p.m. Mountain/1 – 2 p.m. Central/2 – 3 p.m. Eastern time.
- Monday, April 16: SustainRT Membership
To attend this event please register at: http://ala.adobeconnect.com/esvakkahp4cg/event/registration.html
- Monday, April 23: Academic Library focus
To attend this event please register at: https://ala.adobeconnect.com/elfh3ghvwao8/event/registration.html
- Thursday, April 26: Public Library focus
To attend this event please register at: https://ala.adobeconnect.com/e25qohvz7jns/event/registration.html
- Monday, April 30: Open Session
To attend this event please register at: https://ala.adobeconnect.com/erpt24m8bs3m/event/registration.html
Each forum will be facilitated by a member of the Task Force. Attendance at each forum will be capped at 100. The facilitator will have a set of guiding questions, but discussion is otherwise open. The conversation will be recorded. These forums will provide critical guidance for the Task Force report to the ALA Executive Board at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.
If you cannot make any of these dates the Task Force welcomes your input via this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ALAsustain
For additional information, see the Midwinter 2018 report of the Task Force, which is available at: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/ebd5_2_Task%20Force%20on%20Sustainability_MW18Report.pdf
From American Libraries, 2/13/2018
February 13, 2018
Abstract: Terra Dankowki reports on the panel presentation, “Sustainability Strategies for Libraries and Communities,” part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries series at the American Library Association’s 2018 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Denver on Monday. The session was sponsored by the Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT).
From the ALA Editions Blog 3/23/2018
As Rachel Carson famously said in Silent Spring, “Nothing in nature
exists alone.” Libraries do not exist alone. Library leaders do not exist alone. We are all connected to the wider world around us. As libraries we need to be embedded, in an authentic and meaningful way, into the lives of those we serve. That means understanding the status of the building blocks of life, that means awareness of the wider world around us. The library is how we translate our desire to be of service to our fellow citizens. We cannot be relevant if we do not understand what people are currently dealing with or facing in the future.
— Rebekkah Smith Aldrich