Climate Stories Project

Climate Stories Project (CSP) is an artistic and educational climate change communications forum that collects and shares personal stories about the changing climate in order to promote an equitable and effective response to the climate crisis through storytelling, engaged communication, education, and creativity. 

We offer workshops to schools, libraries, government organizations, and other institutions where participants take steps to harness the power of storytelling to engage with climate change. CSP also offers a free online Climate Stories Ambassadors program where participants receive training in climate storytelling and interviewing. Participants also connect to other Climate Stories Ambassadors from around the world.

Please visit our website to listen to climate stories, submit your own story, and to learn more about our workshops and the Climate Stories Ambassadors program. https://www.climatestoriesproject.org/

Member Monday: Eric Tans

Welcome to Member Mondays! The first Monday of each month, we’ll feature a member of SustainRT with a short profile.

We’re super excited to continue our series with this profile of Eric Tans, Science Coordinator and Environmental Sciences Librarian at Michigan State University. All SustainRT members are welcomed and encouraged to follow Eric’s example and fill out our short self-nomination form in order to become featured in a future Member Monday themselves. We’re looking forward to getting to know one another a little better in hopes of strengthening our community of people committed to sustainability in our profession. Happy Member Monday!

Join the SustainRT Mentorship Program!

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

SustainRT welcomes you to apply to be a mentor or mentee in our annual mentorship program, with the goal to connect LIS students/SustainRT members within their first 3 years of professional work (mentees) with SustainRT members with 3+ years of library experience (mentors) to build community, learn together and support growth on sustainability in libraries. See the program description for more information and apply here.

Member Monday: Kate Wingate

Welcome to Member Mondays! The first Monday of each month, we’ll feature a member of SustainRT with a short profile.

We’re super excited to continue our series with this profile of Kate Wingate, Circulation Assistant at Nashville Public Library. In addition to reading Kate’s profile, below, she says “I would love to hear from you! Anyone out there who has successfully started a sustainability committee, especially in a larger city library system, please hit me up! kate.wingate [at] nashville.gov

All SustainRT members are welcomed and encouraged to follow Kate’s example and fill out our short self-nomination form in order to become featured in a future Member Monday themselves. We’re looking forward to getting to know one another a little better in hopes of strengthening our community of people committed to sustainability in our profession. Happy Member Monday!

ALA Annual: SustainRT Recap!

Thank you to all who came out and contributed to an amazing ALA annual conference. Britt Fagerheim and the membership committee team provided us with a great social get-together before the conference, and the many accomplishments of the roundtable and its committees were reviewed at our membership meeting. We were very happy to be able to present the Westerville Public Library with the SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace for their work in bringing pay equity and a living wage to library workers. The slides from our membership meeting are available here, and you can also access a new one page-version of the SustainRT Strategic Plan, as well as the complete SustainRT Strategic Plan

In other good news, the carbon neutrality resolution has passed! A special thanks to Sustainability Round Table Councilor Matthew Bollerman for proposing resolution CD#53. The Roundtable resolution CD#46 has also passed. You can read the recap of this council meeting  from the American Libraries blog.

Missed one of the SustainRT’s programs? We also have the presentation slides, links to resources, and presentation highlights from the following programs:

SustainRT Discussion Group on Measuring Sustainability in Libraries

Library staff and stakeholders are invited to discuss measures, metrics, and systems they’ve used and are interested in using to determine their organization’s sustainability. SustainRT defines sustainability using the triple bottom for libraries to make decisions and take actions that are socially equitable, economically feasible, and environmentally sound. Some measures currently in use in libraries include the Sustainable Library Certification Program, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Green Globes, Living Building Challenge, Energy Star, Net Zero Energy Building Certification, and Passive House.

Measuring Sustainability in Libraries 

Sustainable Choices in Library Prizes & Promotional Materials

Join us for a conversation on addressing social, economic, and environmental sustainability in reimagining the role and utility of library swag with representatives from a variety of library settings and responsible for a variety of library programming and services. The things our libraries provide as prizes, incentives, and thank you’s to our patrons send a message to the people we serve and have an effect on our local and global communities. These exchanges can be an opportunity to build community connections, support local economies, provide experiences, and support people in making more sustainable economic and environmental choices.

  • Mary Callahan (Moderator)

Children’s Librarian

Queens Public Library at Hunters Point

Long Island City, New York

Mary Callahan is a children’s librarian at the Queens Public Library at Hunters Point in Queens, New York City. Mary has worked in the Queens Public Library system for thirteen years and has a special interest in integrating science and nature into library programs for children. She worked for QPL’s innovative Children’s Library Discovery Center, which features museum-style science exhibits and a wide range of STEM programming. Her current library is home to the new Hunters Point Environmental Education Center, which hosts programs on the environment and sustainability for all ages.

  • Marina Marquez

Branch Manager

Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Public Library’s East 131st Street Branch staff take a non-traditional approach to programming and embracing our core value to be TRANSFORMATIONAL.  Practicing sustainability is embracing the limited resources we have through upcycling/recycling materials on hand that leads to creativity and innovation. 

In addition, the Corlett Volunteens is a teen group that sets the learning agenda for youth at the branch. The Volunteens launched a teen-led book club, garden club, and created unique eco-friendly activities and opportunities (such as the Cardboard Arcade, a Newspaper Fashion Show, and a Puppet Parade) for children in the neighborhood to reconnect with their library.  

Cleveland Seed Bank packets

  • Sarah M. Vital

Business Librarian

Saint Mary’s College of California

Moraga, California

To reduce spending on and waste of minimally useful new plastic items, and to increase reuse opportunities, we’ve switched our “swag” giveaways to what students really want: school supplies! This year’s summer reading program participants will receive a branded canvas pencil bag and simple, often asked for supplies which are useful to the students and easily reused in-office if left over.

Office Supply Grab Bag

  • Teri Markson

Senior Librarian

Los Angeles Public Library

Los Angeles, California

At the urging of the Summer Reading committee and library staff, the Los Angeles Public Library has made a conscious effort to steer away from the practice of buying incentives and prizes that heavily impact the environment such as plastic bags, toys and tchotchkes. Instead, we have elected to purchase fewer and more eco-friendly products manufactured either locally or in North America. 

Sustainable Choices in Library Prizes Teri Markson, Senior Librarian Los Angeles Public Library

Lapl_summer_reading_prizes_flyer

  • Kacper Jarecki

Queens Public Library

Peninsula, Team B

At Queens Public Library at Cambria Heights, we had partnered with our local supermarket to distribute fresh apples and bananas once a month to mostly children, but also to teens and adults. It was a great partnership because the library gave away healthy snacks that everyone enjoyed with minimal waste.

Member Monday: Jennifer Day

Welcome to Member Mondays! The first Monday of each month, we’ll feature a member of SustainRT with a short profile.

We’re super excited to continue our series with this profile of Jennifer Day, Librarian at Toledo Lucas County Public Library. In addition to reading Jennifer’s profile, below, you can also connect via her LinkedIn! All SustainRT members are welcomed and encouraged to follow Jennifer’s example and fill out our short self-nomination form in order to become featured in a future Member Monday themselves. We’re looking forward to getting to know one another a little better in hopes of strengthening our community of people committed to sustainability in our profession. Happy Member Monday!

Sustainability Book Review: How to Prepare for Climate Change

As a reoccurring feature on the Sustainability Roundtable blog, we will post reviews of books related to sustainability.  Interested in submitting your own review to the blog? Contact August at aolundsmith@gmail.com.

How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos by David Pogue
Book Review by Kacper Jarecki

This book was released just recently so I wanted to take a look. First of all, a note about the author David Pogue. He is a correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning and NOVA on PBS. He is the author of books such as Mac Unlocked, Windows 10: The Missing Manual, Opera for Dummies, Magic for Dummies, Pogue’s Basics: Life, and a bunch more. David Pogue definitely seems to have a lot of diverse interests and his career doesn’t solely focus on sustainability. That being said, he does bring some unique perspectives and interesting suggestions for how to survive in different catastrophic situations. Some chapter titles include Preparing for Flood, Preparing for Drought, and Preparing for Hurricanes and Tornados.

This is a book that you don’t necessarily read straight through: each chapter stands on its own so you can read whatever topic interests you at the moment. There is a chapter about the best places to live with coastal cities like NYC where I live, not being ideal with rising sea levels. There is a list of the top 15 cities that will be least affected by global warming in the US: with Madison, Wisconsin taking the number 1 spot – 5 lakes, 260 parks, 11 beaches, and 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. Portland, Oregon is on the list too – and that is the site of the PLA (Public Library Association) Conference in March 2022, so I hope I can go to the conference and take a look around in the city J There are also chapters about how to build your home so that it withstands different catastrophes better, where to invest your money, and what plants to grow in your garden.

David Pogue gives a lot of suggestions including many out of the box ones. For example, there is a section about whether or not to have kids: being child-free keeps “9,400 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” but additionally also frees up time to “work on the planet’s behalf.” He lists what to have in an emergency bag, including cigarettes because if you’re a smoker because “the last thing you need is the stress of withdrawal when you’re living through trauma.” And he says applying antiperspirant to the back of your neck will help keep cool in the summer. He even recommends that atheists join a local church or temple, if at the very least to cultivate a supportive social network.

As evidenced by the past year with the pandemic, we are definitely living in some special times. It’s helpful to think and plan about different possible situations that may come up in our lifetime. How to Prepare for Climate Change definitely gives a lot of food for thought.

Discussion Questions:

1.     What are some possible ways climate change can affect your current living area?

2.     If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? What are some features that are important to you (i.e. living by the beach, being next to a park, etc.)?

3.     What are some things you can do right now to get prepared in case of an emergency?

4.     Which of David Pogue’s suggestions stood out to you the most?

5.     Do you have any tips for surviving a catastrophe that you’d like to share?

Webinar: Cultivating Sustainable Community in an Academic Library

The University of Denver Libraries Sustainability Committee is committed to working toward a more just and sustainable future. We have focused our efforts on educational outreach, modeling sustainability best practices, and building community within the library, as well as with the greater campus community, and often in partnership with the Center for Sustainability. In this presentation, we’ll discuss some of our successful initiatives, such as Zero Waste Finals, and outline some of the challenges we’ve encountered and lessons learned, especially as we have adapted our work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interested in attending this webinar on June 22nd 11am MT? Sign up here!

Join us: Pre-Annual Social Hour (virtual)

A person smiling while looking at a tablet. Creative Commons licensed image.

Hello, all SustainRT people!

We are gathering virtually for a pre-Annual Social Hour Tuesday, June 22, 4-5pm CST, and you’re invited!

Drop in or stay the hour; share or listen to climate change stories, passions, project updates; learn about SustainRT’s mentorship program.

The registration link is accessible here.

See you “there!” –SustainRT Membership Committee

Member Monday: Melissa Hozik

Welcome to Member Mondays! The first Monday of each month, we’ll feature a member of SustainRT with a short profile.

We’re super excited to continue our series with this profile of Melissa Hozik, Adult Services Librarian at East Brunswick Public Library. All SustainRT members are welcomed and encouraged to follow Melissa’s example and fill out our short self-nomination form in order to become featured in a future Member Monday themselves. We’re looking forward to getting to know one another a little better in hopes of strengthening our community of people committed to sustainability in our profession. Happy Member Monday!