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Madeleine Charney's picture

July 1, 2013 Minutes of SustainRT meeting,Chicago midwinter


Minutes of ALA Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) meeting                                    1 July 2013

Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago

In attendance: Leighann Wood, ALA; Carrie Moran, U of Central Florida; Craig Emerson, ProQuest; Terry Link, MSU; Fred Stoss, SUNY Buffalo; Tasha Cooper, Syracuse U; Jeff Hartsell-Gundy, Miami U; Ashley Jones, Miami U; Beth Filar Williams, U North Carolina-Greensboro; Debbie Campbell, CARLI; Melora Ranney Norman, Unity College; Astrid Britten, Aruba; Monique Albeits, Sint Maarten; Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Sustainable Libraries; Kim Medema, Loyola U; Kim Kane, U of California-San Diego; Rachel Myers, U of California-San Diego; Michelle Harrell Washington, ALA; Mara Egherman, Central College.

Introductions. Beth and Ashley mostly chaired the meeting, starting by asking folks to introduce themselves, so we went around the table. Also noted that we don’t have an official leader yet, elections will be in the fall for officers that will begin in the spring of 2014. Therefore this meeting has no official chair, but the founding members will lead us in discussion.

Beth and Ashley explained that this first meeting of SustainRT grew out of a series of four well-attended webinars during 2012 designed to explore reinvigoration of the Task Force on the Environment (TFOE) under the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of ALA and/or other options, out of which grew the sentiment that a new Round Table be formed. This takes the issue of sustainability to a higher level in ALA (and is broadly defined below). After a successful petition campaign, we were able to bring the request to ALA Council and it was quickly approved. During this process, new leaders emerged. The Steering Committee/founding members are currently working on bylaws.

Beth read our mission statement to the assembled group:

"The ALA Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) invites the exchange of ideas and opportunities regarding sustainability in order to move toward a more equitable, healthy and economically viable society. The mission of the organization is to provide resources for the library community to support sustainability through curriculum development; collections; exhibits; events; advocacy, communication, library buildings and space design."

Mara chimed in that we want to incorporate all kinds of libraries, librarians, library workers and others though most founding members are in academia. Also, in addition to our ALA Connect site, we have a listserv on ALA’s site:  sustainrt-l@ala.org, the Sustainability Librarians group on Linked In, and we are tweeting at #alaSustainRT. Also make sure to add #ala2013 to any tweets. Via social media we can reach out to non-ALA members. Thanked Terry and Fred for their past work as TFOE chairs and support of the new Round Table. Noted that other groups, such as ALA/ACRL Western European Study Section (WESS)/Scandinavian may be interested in partnering for program planning. Session on environmental issues in Arctic, for example.

(Fred?) suggested that we look to SRRT and ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT)’s bylaws and how they incorporate all types of libraries. SustainRT is complementary to TFOE - Fred said that SRRT might be disbanding TFOE, might merge Green Libraries in ALA Connect into our SustainRT community.

During Fossils fuel resolution someone mentioned why don't we stop coming to midwinter too? Can we have Skype or chat while meeting virtually, how does ALA feel about it? Or webcast the meeting for people to listen but not necessarily be able to participate. Fred suggested emulating RUSA for virtual meetings.

To have Internet at ALA conference costs about $400 (Leighann) so maybe bring hotspot, and your own laptop (Fred). Poster sessions at membership booth would be great.

Webinars and Planning for ALA 2014 ideas so far include lightning talks or a panel about library sustainability projects; hands-on workshop for creating a Sustainability Action Plan for your institution; sponsor speaker Mandy Henk.

Water program sponsor with ALA/ACRL Law and Political Science Section (LPSS)! More talk on this program but we would be interested in sponsoring.

(Fred suggested) Debbie Balsamo, EPA in Triangle Park? Maybe talk about this topic as a discussion? Or a visit and tour of the EPA’s library? Fred had been on a tour at another event.

Can we incorporate United Nations’ Decade of Sustainable Development, US partnership (Terry is a fellow with them)? Ends in 2015.

Those in higher ed, collaborate with AASHE? Get libraries more involved. Get your institution involved.

Metrics on corporate responsibility (Fred).

Add in better foods aspect, yoga sessions, walks, meditation room while at ALA (Carrie).

Birding session at a past conference.

Look at recycling and environmental aspects of the convention center (Melora).

Fred gives talks on Al Gore’s climate change talk and could again -webinar?

Unity college president would possibly do a webinar, the first college to eliminate fossil fuels! (Melora)

Panel with school librarian, public librarian, academic librarian and more?

Libraries Build Sustainable Communities part 2 (Fred suggests)

Sustainable thinking in libraries, community support looking at financial aspect.

Sustainable showcase-how we did what we did with various librarians and example. (Carrie)

GODORT session, like conference sponsored by Iowa GODORT on how to get government resources for your sustainability projects. (Mara) http://www.iowalibraryassociation.org/images/subdivisions/GODART/agenda_godort2011.pdf

Planning for ACRL 2015 in Portland OR (theme is Building Sustainable Communities) Beth encouraged people to join planning committees. Contact conference planning chair Lori Goetsch at lgoetsch@k-state.edu . Beth and Madeleine Charney of UMass are already co-chairing Innovations and Workshops respectively.

Website content and design - What information/features to include. What else? What other positions should the group have?

There are many leadership opportunities here! Some SustainRT founding members already have roles in other sections and want to participate but not serve in an official leadership capacity. Please step up if interested!

Carrie would be interested in serving as webmaster.

Melora Norman will create a Facebook group for us (and help with composing bylaws), can serve as social media coordinator.

Discussion of titles within SustainRT, should leaders be called “chair” or “coordinator?”

Local arrangements coordinator is helpful in location city for conferences.

We could use a program coordinator for planning sessions at ALA and elsewhere.

Have liaisons to other groups in ALA, be a part of ALA Round Table Assembly, cross pollination.

Reach out to library schools to get them involved, gophers, write up, website, run webinars, and maybe possibly sponsor one to a conference one day.

Write up for SRRT newsletter with all our communication. Mara will submit for their next one.

Membership Options fair - we will be able to participate in this once we get membership.

As of September people can join our Round Table via ALA membership or renewal.

Q&A with Michelle of ALA. She’d recommend clearly defining goals, it is Important to get a good succinct message, elevator speech, same message for us all to give out, maybe a small business card handout with our info. Partner with other groups in programming for conferences. Emulate IFRT.

PAC for librarians “Every Library

Motion that the organizers of SustainRT to support the fossils fuel resolution by Melora, second by Mara, all voted in favor!


Minutes respectfully submitted by Mara Egherman eghermanm@central.edu .

Kim Kane's picture

Hi All,

The Sustain RT meeting sounds like it was fantastic, so many great ideas. I wish I could have been there. My friend/co-worker Rachel Myers attended and wrote my name down on the sign-in sheet to make sure that I would get added to the email list. Thanks Rachel! Although my name is listed above under attendance, I really wasn't there.  Looking forward to meeting everyone next year at ALA in Vegas.

-Kim Kane