Member Monday: Beth South

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 Beth South, Assistant Librarian of Access & Tech Services/Archivist at Indiana University East in Richmond, IN. All SustainRT members are welcomed and encouraged to follow Beth’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!

Webinar: Carbon Neutral Event Planning and the Role of Carbon Offsets

Photo by Athena from Pexels

Jenna Pugliese, Director of Client Strategy at Native, a Public Benefit Corporation and ALA’s conference carbon offset provider since January 2020, will provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities in aiming for carbon neutral events and the role that carbon offsets can play in moving organizations like ALA toward that goal (while recognizing that carbon offsets have their own challenges). This webinar topic is timely with the ALA 2021 Annual Conference Council adoption of the Resolution to Achieve Carbon Neutrality for ALA Conferences.

This webinar will take place on October 13th, 2021, at 1pm EST. To register, click here!

SustainRT Leaders Wanted!

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

SustainRT is seeking nominees to stand for Spring 2022 election for the roles of Coordinator-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Councilor, and Member-at-Large (see position descriptions below). If you see a sustainable future with libraries leading the way, a leadership position in SustainRT offers a remarkable way for you to realize that vision. As the fastest growing roundtable in ALA, SustainRT is a dynamic organization with multiple initiatives in progress as part of a strategic plan that challenges and supports ALA, our profession, our own libraries, and ourselves to live and work in more sustainable ways. Can you picture yourself helping to shepherd this work along? Nominees must complete and submit a nomination form by December 1st, 2021. Contact Past-Coordinator Casey Conlin for the nomination form link, details, and any questions: cconlin@midhudson.org


Coordinator-Elect:
The Coordinator-elect will be elected for a three-year term and serves one year of that term as Coordinator-elect, one year as Coordinator, and one year as Immediate Past Coordinator. The Coordinator-elect shall appoint the chair of each standing committee and members to fill vacancies in such committees for terms beginning their year as Coordinator, except the Nominating Committee. The Coordinator-elect is expected to attend at least the ALA Annual Conference. The following year, as Coordinator, duties will include leading and convening monthly Steering Committee meetings and working towards completing goals identified in the SustainRT strategic plan. The Past-coordinator, will be expected to convene the nominating committee to find candidates for upcoming leadership positions, and maintain and update procedure documentation relevant to SustainRT’s work.

 

Secretary:

The Secretary will be elected for a two-year term, attend monthly SustainRT Steering Committee Meetings, and shall be responsible for the general correspondence of the SustainRT and the minutes of Steering Committee and general membership meetings. The Secretary, coordinating with the ALA staff liaison, shall arrange for preservation of the SustainRT archives via ALA Connect or its successor technology. The Secretary shall be eligible for election to a second consecutive term. The Secretary is expected to attend both ALA conferences (if membership meeting planned) including Annual conferences in order to record the minutes of the general membership meeting.

 

Treasurer

The Treasurer will be elected for a two-year term, attend monthly SustainRT Steering Committee Meetings, and shall review and approve all expenses, coordinating with the ALA staff liaison, and prepare reports and a proposed budget for each fiscal year. The Treasurer shall be eligible for election to a second consecutive term. The Treasurer is expected to attend both ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences in order to attend ALA fiscal and budget assembly meetings as needed. The Treasurer will serve as Liaison between the Steering Committee and the Membership Committee, handle all reimbursements for SustainRT incurred expenses.

Councilor 

The Councilor will be elected for a three-year term and attend monthly SustainRT Steering Committee Meetings. The SustainRT Councilor shall serve as the SustainRT representative to the ALA Council. The SustainRT Councilor is expected to attend both ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences in order to attend ALA Council meetings to represent SustainRT. The Councilor will srves as Liaison between the Steering Committee and a SustainRT committee. The SustainRT Councilor attends all ALA Council meetings during the ALA conferences (Council I, Council II, and Council III) and keeps SustainRT informed of Council actions. The SustainRT Councilor is a voting member of ALA Council and speaks on behalf of SustainRT on the council floor, makes motions, and proposes and submits resolutions.


Member-at-Large:
The Member-at-Large position is a two-year commitment, including attending monthly SustainRT Steering Committee Meetings. The Member-at-Large will serve as liaison between the Steering Committee and a SustainRT committee, and work on special projects as assigned by the Steering Committee or the Coordinator. Members at Large are expected to attend either the ALA Midwinter conference or the ALA Annual Conference.

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!

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!

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.

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

Westerville Public Library to Receive 2021 SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace

Westerville Library Staff

The Westerville Public Library will be awarded the 2021 SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace in recognition of the great strides the library has made in pay equity for their library workers. In autumn 2020, the library board passed a new pay range scale that resulted in a 34.80% increase for the lowest pay ranges in the organization starting in the new fiscal year. This citation awards their progress towards meeting the needs of staff and promoting wellness through a commitment to pay equity for library workers. SustainRT Coordinator,  The citation helps promote the work done by leaders and provide examples of what can be done to foster staff wellness. 

The new pay range scale consulted pay ranges in similar local industries and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator to ensure that even the lowest pay range in the organization provided a living minimum wage for Franklin County, where the Westerville Public Library is located. This new strategy resulted in pay increases for all library staff—but most importantly, the largest increase went to those library workers in the lowest pay ranges. Across the board, staff received a 3 percent raise, with workers in the lowest pay range receiving a 20.4% increase from the pay range midpoint as well as an annual raise of 3%, resulting in a 34.8% raise overall from 2020.  By raising the wages of their workers across the board, the library has not only demonstrated a commitment to fair pay and pay equity, but shown library workers that their work is valuable. Additionally during the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic, the Westerville Public Library administration was able to maintain staff salaries by reducing general operating funds by 20%, enacting a hiring freeze, and offering voluntary furloughs for employees not ready to return to work. Instead of cutting library worker wages during a time of financial hardship, the Westerville Public Library chose to expand worker wages. 

SustainRT is pleased to recognize the efforts of Westerville Public Library to address staff wellness and pay equity with the 2021 Citation for Wellness in the Workplace. Representatives of the library will receive a plaque from SustainRT in recognition of this achievement at the roundtable’s annual membership meeting during ALA’s Annual Conference.

SustainRT’s Citation for Wellness in the Workplace carries on the work begun by ALA Past-President Loida Garcia-Febo with her Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace and her commitment to the wellness of library workers. Garcia-Febo says, “As a woman with deep interests in mental and physical health, and the well-being of library workers, wellness is of utmost importance to me. Libraries have the power to help transform lives through efforts promoting wellness. I hope this citation motivates libraries everywhere to support the overall well-being of their staff.” 

For questions or more info, see SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace page or contact SustainRT Coordinator, Casey Conlin.

Member Monday: Uta Hussong-Christian

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 Uta Hussong-Christian, Associate Professor and Science Librarian and Oregon State University. All SustainRT members are welcomed and encouraged to follow Uta’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!