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


Welcome to Wrocław

September 22, 2017

“It is time for you, at this conference, to engage and explore,” said Donna Scheeder, president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), to the crowd gathered for the Opening Session of the 2017 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) on August 20. “I’m sure among this group is a future IFLA president somewhere.” Speakers seemed … Continue reading Welcome to Wrocław


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


Plenary session speaker Ewa Bartnik, biologist and researcher at University of Warsaw.

Intersection of Libraries and Science: Day Four of IFLA WLIC

August 24, 2017

In her session “A Few Things Libraries Can Do About Climate Change,” Veerle Minner Van Neygen, a Madrid, Spain–based district manager for the Climate Reality Project, warned of the environmental impacts of a warming Earth and highlighted a handful of mitigation efforts that libraries should pursue: reducing the library’s carbon footprint, building green collections, conserving … Continue reading Intersection of Libraries and Science: Day Four of IFLA WLIC


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


ALA President Jim Neal

Leaders in the Library

July 19, 2017

In addition to the many remarkable speakers and presentations that made the conference a rich educational experience, the work of the Association is also noteworthy: The Conference Accessibility Task Force issued recommendations for accessibility improvements at upcoming conferences. The Chapter Relations Communications Task Force issued a report to help improve chapter engagement with ALA. A … Continue reading Leaders in the Library



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


Gary Shaffer

Triple Bottom Line Sustainability

June 15, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. Author and entrepreneur John Elkington, often credited for introducing the concept of TBL, wrote in Cannibals with Forks: Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business (1999) that organizations must be economically prosperous, promote environmental quality, and be champions of … Continue reading Triple Bottom Line Sustainability


Kellie Sparks

Strengthening the Voice for Sustainability

May 31, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. Libraries can move toward providing a fact-based voice in fighting climate change in their communities. One way to do this is by more proactively collecting and disseminating information to stakeholders involved in local sustainability efforts. A recent study … Continue reading Strengthening the Voice for Sustainability


Amy Brunvand

Sustainability on the Other Side of the Stacks

May 22, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. Why not? I hadn’t previously thought of embedding myself in the Sustainability Office, but the idea seemed brilliant. Typically, academic libraries mirror the subject-based structure of academic departments; but one of the unique aspects of campus sustainability is … Continue reading Sustainability on the Other Side of the Stacks


Bonnie Smith and Beth Filar Williams

Sustainability’s Community of Practice

May 10, 2017

This column is one in a multipart American Libraries series that explores the library profession’s relationship to sustainability. This consideration of the need and role of humanity in constructing a sustainable future for all—balancing environmental, economic, and social needs while protecting vulnerable populations—is a core and urgent concern of society, and consequently of libraries. The very … Continue reading Sustainability’s Community of Practice