Sustainability in Libraries: Sally Romero

Sustainability and Academic Libraries

April 22, 2020

To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—and recognize the American Library Association adding sustainability as a core value—American Libraries returns with its ongoing sustainability series. In these posts, information professionals share their experiences with sustainability in libraries. Librarians and library workers can implement sustainable ideas in their library and integrate learning-by-doing into the educational … Continue reading Sustainability and Academic Libraries


Solar panels on the roof of McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Photo: McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability

March 2, 2020

Earth Day will be observed April 22. 1 Year ago the American Library Association (ALA) added sustainability as a core value of librarianship. At the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, ALA Council committed to the triple bottom-line framework for sustainability: practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. 50 Number of years Earth … Continue reading By the Numbers: Libraries and Sustainability


Youth Matters, by Larissa Clotildes

Waste Not, Want Not

March 2, 2020

I am not denying the educational value of crafts. They stimulate creativity, develop fine motor skills, and engage multiple senses in a learning experience. But I challenge myself to find activities that do not produce single-use waste, without sacrificing everything that makes crafts so great. I use the five Rs as my baseline: Refuse. Reject … Continue reading Waste Not, Want Not


Graphic: On My Mind with Kayla Kuni

What Does Green Mean?

March 2, 2020

Sustainability initiatives often focus primarily on environmentalism, that is, the importance of reducing the footprint we leave on our physical spaces and habitats in order to preserve them over time. Social and financial measures are just as important to the longevity of our work, and by incorporating these principles into our programming, we can help … Continue reading What Does Green Mean?


Matthew Bollerman and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich.

Answering the Sustainability Question

January 25, 2020

Aldrich, executive director of the Mid-Hudson Library System in Poughkeepsie, New York, began by stressing the urgent need for libraries to address climate change, resilience, and sustainability, both in promotion and practice. “There is nothing bigger in this world today than climate change,” she said. “This will be getting worse, if we don’t change things. … Continue reading Answering the Sustainability Question


2019 Year in Review

2019 Year in Review

January 2, 2020

Macmillan Ebook Policy Draws Fire Macmillan Publishers announced a policy preventing libraries from purchasing more than one copy of a new ebook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. In protest, American Library Association (ALA) launched the #eBooksForAll petition, which by November 27 had garnered more than 216,000 signatures. Said ALA President … Continue reading 2019 Year in Review



The BeeChicas tend to one of two rooftop beehives at Boulder (Colo.) Public Library. (Photo: The Bee Chicas)

File under Bee

September 3, 2019

When Theresa Beck, a member of the Boulder, Colorado–based beekeeping team and advocacy group the BeeChicas, shared her idea with Kathy Lane at the Bee Boulder Festival in 2014, she didn’t think of it as more than a playful suggestion. But Lane, who is programs, events, and outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library (BPL), … Continue reading File under Bee


Michigan State University librarian Eric Tans with the book debinding machine

Leading the Green Revolution

November 1, 2017

“When you start talking about compost and food waste, people immediately think of fruit flies and mice and stinky garbage,” Tans says. As the school’s environmental sciences librarian, Tans participates in MSU Libraries’ robust programming around recycling, composting, and deaccessioning books. Founded in 1855, MSU is a historically agricultural school. The institution’s long tradition of … Continue reading Leading the Green Revolution


Raymond Pun

Campus Sustainability through Information Literacy

September 12, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. When I first started working at Fresno State as the first-year student success librarian in 2015, a colleague referred my name to a team of science professors in this program. From there, I began attending weekly meetings and contributing … Continue reading Campus Sustainability through Information Literacy


Edgardo Civallero

Degrowth Is Coming

August 4, 2017

Generally speaking, human beings have been aware of these boundaries throughout history, if only to protect existing resources. Our lives depended on it—and still do. But societies have come to view themselves as independent of that abstract entity known as “nature” and believe that human beings can handle their environment at their convenience, using and … Continue reading Degrowth Is Coming


Arlene Hopkins and Stephen Maack

Sustainability in Public Libraries

June 23, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. Sustainability does not mean continuing the public library, its facilities, and its roles as they are now.  It may mean retaining key elements of the library while changing many others. Or it may mean retaining the core values … Continue reading Sustainability in Public Libraries