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The Princh Library blog provides library stories and insights from around the globe. We share this information through our blog but also our podcast. This episode of the Princh Library Lounge podcast is brought to you by Princh, the only printing solution designed specifically for – and with – libraries! Our user-friendly printing solution makes it easy for library users to print and pay from their own device. Try out our solution risk free for 30 days or watch a short video to understand how we can help your library here! Now let’s get to the podcast.

Libraries and sustainability

Have you ever wondered how libraries can encourage people to be more aware and active regarding sustainability? Tune in to episode 7 of the Princh Library Lounge to find out more.

Sustainability and Climate change are two closely related topics discussed in this episode with our host, Marc Lapointe and two library professionals, Madeleine Charney and Gabrielle Griffis.

What role can libraries play in environmental sustainability?

When speaking about sustainability, Madeleine has found it nearly impossible to separate the issue from the socioeconomic environment. In 2019, the main resolution of the American Library Association (ALA) was presenting sustainability as a core value for librarianship. Many libraries in the US are now becoming more aware, not just about sustainability, but also the significance of climate change.

Gabrielle encourages everyone to checkout Madeleine’s work towards sustainability and also mentioned that a handful of library systems started a very important partnership, in 2019, with the Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) whose main goal is to prepare communities for extreme weather events. CREW’s most recent project is to turn libraries and other community entities into climate resilience hubs, where the only criteria to join is a willingness to offer at least one climate change and/or extreme weather-related program each year.

For some inspiration, Gabrielle mentioned a few initiatives at Wellfleet Public Library towards climate change and sustainability, which are a great example.

 For more information about this topic, check out episode 7 of the Princh Library Lounge!

What is the ideal role of libraries within global sustainability efforts?

Madeleine highlights the International Federation of Library Associations who have been working on sustainability for many years following the 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals. She perceives librarians as Agents of Change and recommends for all to be experimental, because that is how change happens.

Gabrielle shares a few of the initiatives and partnerships taking place Wellfleet Public Library. These groups have the power to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together to work towards sustainability. All activities are volunteer based which promotes community involvement. Because the library is an open and welcoming space it provides these vital opportunities for community engagement.

 For more information about this topic, listen to episode 7 of the Princh Library Lounge!

What can libraries do to be more active in sustainability efforts?

For Madeleine, the Climate Resilience Hubs are a great idea and libraries should join the initiative, because having at least one event each year about extreme weather could make a difference. Librarians should all be part of a network, putting their heads together in order to learn from each other.

Gabrielle mentioned that no one is immune to the effects of extreme weather, and when disasters happen, like it did last August in Wellfleet, people should be prepared, well informed and at the very least, know where to go for information.

Madeleine also adds, it’s important for libraries to help people find the information they need and let them know what to do when things are not at their best. Even though, she is a fan of face-to-face interaction, she also recommends that libraries be more present virtually, so people don’t necessarily need to physically be present to participate in the conversation or brainstorming experiences, including everyone while also reducing the need to travel.

 For more information about this topic, please listen to episode 7 of the Princh Library Lounge!