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Discussion Group ALA MW: Crisis and the Community 2/11/18 1pm  

Feb 15, 2018 11:51 AM

Discussion Group: Crisis and the Community

2/11/18  Sunday 1-230pm

Abstract:  Libraries and librarians can (and do) play a pivotal role in helping vulnerable communities build the physical, social, economic, and emotional resources and skills necessary to endure and thrive in the face of catastrophic climate, social, and economic disruptions. While this discussion is open to all, we hope librarians working in communities in areas especially prone to catastrophic weather events (flood, fire, drought, etc.) can join us for this important discussion and give us first-hand insights into how SustainRT and the ALA can support their efforts


Define sustainability

  • Environment resources protection utilization of our resources

  • Habits and practices in favor of us continuing

  • Institutionalized support who will continue this when we start it

  • Networks and nodes of resiliency. Information ecosystem enter

  • Climate change will cause systemic collapse. Bending off the crisis and recovering from it. Optimism and pessimism = balance

  • Find ways to get through it economically socially etc

  • Keep the balance.  inputs and outputs

  • Re-examining our relationship to the whole system



What are examples of what libraries are doing re crisis and the community ?

  • Old weather whaling Noaa and Providence Public Library to discover weather historic patterns through digitization of whaling data

  • Key West Library leadership part of local crisis planning

  • AASHE -  Association for advancement of sustainability in higher ed has librarians involved in various initiatives and groups;  Library serving as places of refuge in crisis

  • Salt Lake Public Library help desk for homeless to find services

  • Public Library Wisconsin MOOC on climate change and impact

  • Different effects in different places. Local Community Place based responses

  • Making sure that libraries in vulnerable areas have resources, Library building design, recovery support

  • Fond du Lac Library (tornado) helped community save family photos

  • Services for refugees, Mortensen Center

  • New England, training for librarians, climate change Community toolbox, webinar

  • Members of different ethnic backgrounds to work in libraries as a reflection of the community they serve, recruitment

  • Redundant records, data collection in different areas of the nation in case of crisis  Resource intensity question for duplicated collections though

  • Economic diversity, challenges of different socioeconomic status and capturing their stories EX:   Poor from New Orleans, many never came back after flood didn't want to or couldn't; Fleeing from environmental danger, climate Refugee status?

  • Ensuring sustainability connect internationally globally such as ifla ensulib  group

  • Reducing our own impacts and practices how can we model that in our community

  • Helping Preppers to be ready for a crisis survivalist skill training disaster planning programming such as putting together a go bag. How to start a fire how to purify water Etc --  Jodi shaw good at this stuff

  • Systemize sustainability principles into all libraries all personnel ;  have ALA  executive committee Council has agreed to take ownership of these principles

What support could ala provide for libraries that have or are experiencing climate change crisis?

  • A fund for Disaster Recovery IEP Puerto Rico

  • in- kind borrowing such as freezer trucks Etc

  • Teaching workshops skills like the New England training for librarians

  • An amber alert for libraries experiencing crisis to reach other libraries in their Locale more easily, better communication when Crisis occur

  • Outreach the smaller libraries to inform about help available

  • Help libraries help communities in advance or  educate on cost and benefits of choices they make such as flood insurance Etc

  • Training on how to have conversations to de-politicized climate change; help conversation around climate change

  • Better storytelling, stories from community members about climate change-related crises example Salt Lake City stories about breathing poor air quality to discuss air pollution with legislators

  • Need to find better ways to collect stories, storycorps?

  • When does our language become the barrier words like sustainability and resilience are code words for some to not listen and tune out

  • Power and how it affects some reaction to these words, fake news, media literacy

  • Ala creates a RUSA recommended reading list and developing programming that can be used in libraries - example information on natural Pest Control


What would it be perfect...idealistically?

  • Identify what communities are at greatest risk and channel resources their way

  • Climate Avengers, such as Librarians Without Borders for ala comma example Occupy Wall Street library

  • Map of libraries in the US overlaid with climate change maps to predict where the next Crisis may occur and what libraries we need to look out for train and support

  • Accreditation for libraries that is connected to sustainability plans and programming

  • Training for creating Disaster Recovery plans including in library school programs be on those who are in archives

  • State and multi-state region-wide coordination for disaster planning

  • Sustainability as a core value for ala

  • Roadshow supported by Ala for sustainability issues and training

  • Performance in a box check out insidethegreenhouse.Org

  • Survey of what each library is most worried about, this might be happening through Rebecca and Renee's task force, then develop it into a tool that libraries can use to find out what is their Community most worried about


Notes submitted by Beth Filar Williams



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