Aydin Kwan, adult services librarian at Sunnyvale Public Library uses an induction cooktop available for loan.

Hot Topic

January 2, 2024

Bunk, a father and lecturer at University of Massachusetts Amherst, had heard that induction stoves were better for the environment than gas stoves, but he says he also “wanted to find out how difficult [they were] to use and how steep the learning curve was.” Induction ranges, like their traditional gas or electric counterparts, heat … Continue reading Hot Topic


Lessa Kanani‘opua Pelayo-Lozada

A Global Impact

May 1, 2023

For me, this was on full view during my international travels representing ALA last year. When other library workers and I attended the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ World Library and Information Congress (IFLA WLIC) in Dublin, Ireland, in July, we heard from Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland who now … Continue reading A Global Impact


Gabrielle Griffis

Fix It Yourself

May 1, 2023

Sustainable living involves making changes in your everyday life to ensure that you leave the planet a better place after you’re gone. These changes can include recycling and reducing waste, of course, but also repairing rather than replacing. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain shortages, interest in sustainability and self-reliance topics … Continue reading Fix It Yourself


Talking Trash

March 1, 2023

To alleviate the country’s ongoing litter problem, some public libraries are creating kits to help patrons clean up their neighborhoods. “We want people to be involved in the community,” says Samantha Hanchett, marketing coordinator at Thomas County (Ga.) Public Library System (TCPLS). “Doing something that benefits everyone, even though it’s quite quiet, is really what … Continue reading Talking Trash


Julia Kress, senior electronic resources assistant at the Fondren Library at Rice University in Houston, and Neyda Gilman, assistant head of sustainability and STEM engagement and pharmacy, nursing and health sciences librarian at Binghamton University in New York, discuss their work as part of ALA's Resilient Communities grant.

Climate Change Chat

January 29, 2023

Alexandria Library was one of 25 libraries that received an American Library Association (ALA) Resilient Communities grant to help educate patrons on the climate crisis. Representatives from five public and academic library recipients joined to discuss their work in a January 28 program at ALA’s 2023 LibLearnX conference in New Orleans. The Resilient Communities’ six-month … Continue reading Climate Change Chat


Jennifer Embree, subject librarian and Sustainability Hub coordinator for Binghamton University Libraries, speaks at the American Library Association's 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on June 26. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Join the Hub

June 27, 2022

“Despite how big our school is, there was no sustainability office,” Embree said at  “Sustainability Hubs in Practice: How Libraries Can Develop Dynamic Spaces and Services to Help Foster an Action-Based Sustainability Culture in Communities,” a June 26 session at the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. “Unless you’re … Continue reading Join the Hub





Alicia Serratos poses in front of a seed library holding a box of seeds.

Newsmaker: Alicia Serratos

June 1, 2021

Serratos started her first seed library in 2014 at her elementary school in Mission Viejo, California, after learning about healthy eating, gardening, and sustainability. Through Three Sisters Seed Box, she has now helped place seed libraries in all 50 states and has filled requests from as far away as India. American Libraries talked with Serratos … Continue reading Newsmaker: Alicia Serratos


Human visitors explore the butterfly garden at Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library’s South branch. (Photo: Kokomo–Howard County (Ind.) Public Library)

Where Monarchs Reign

March 1, 2021

Drawing on their existing relationship with KHCPL, the gardeners discussed planting a community butterfly garden—a sanctuary designed to attract and support the colorful winged creatures at all stages of life—on the grounds of the system’s South branch. “What I love best is that when they wanted this for their community, they first thought of the … Continue reading Where Monarchs Reign


A worker installs solar panels on the roof of Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon. Photo: Katie Newell/Ledding Library in Milwaukie, Oregon

Ready for Action

September 1, 2020

In recent years, global warming has also led to worsening wildfires, invasive pests, and the melting of permafrost across the state. “There are some coastal villages that are literally sinking into the sea,” Preskitt says. In response, the city of Anchorage decided to brace for the impact of climate change by creating a formal framework. … Continue reading Ready for Action