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Draft Minutes, Virtual Membership Meeting, June 17, 2016 

Jun 22, 2016 07:13 AM


SustainRT Virtual Membership Meeting Minutes, June 17, 2016

Attendees: Madeleine Charney, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Betsy Evans, Rene Tanner, Ashley Jones, Eileen Harrington, John Amundsen, 26  participants.


Meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm (EDT) by Madeleine.

Madeleine introduced the Board members in attendance, and thanked John Amundsen for hosting and being the Tech Moderator.

1 - Budget update

Betsy reported that $1484 dues came in this year as of May 2016, which is ahead of our projection. This brings us to $3383 net balance.

2 - Membership update

Madeleine reported that 225 personal and 3 organizational memberships for a total of 228 total. This is a 29% increase from last year. We have increased our membership among retired, international and non-salaried, and support staff members, but student membership has dropped. Madeleine reminded everyone they can join SustainRT for $10 any time; it doesn’t have to be when renewing membership.

3 - Committee updates:


Over the past year, the committee has taken steps to collaborate with ALA Executive Director and Conference Services to implement aspects of resolution. We need to keep pushing to have leaders actually implement components of resolution; some things have been slower to change, while others have good momentum. Madeleine pointed out that Terra Dankowski , Associate Editor of American Libraries just reached out to SustainRT group to say she is interested in attending meetings, working with us to create press releases and pitches, review resources and/or publications for leads, hear about new initiatives, get recommendations for columnists, or anything else we think might fit within the scope of the publication’s coverage. This is a good sign of some forward movement within the organization.



Environmental Scan

The Committee is continuing to work on gathering resources and projects related to sustainability that for now are listed on the SustainRT website ( Anyone can add resources via a form on this page, where they can also offer to write a post for the SustainRT blog on any resources or project they add. Eventually, the committee hopes to create an online, searchable database of the resources.

Online Education

It has been a very active year with several webinars. Recordings of past webinars can be found on the SustainRT website ( The next one will probably be in August and will be a review of the panelist talks at “Planting the Seeds” at annual.


There will be several programs at Annual Conference, including panel presentations, librarians from Aruba, Sustainable Thinking with Matthew and Rebekkah, a social event with SRRT and our board meeting. Descriptions, times and locations can be found on the SustainRT website ( All are welcome at all of the events.


This was a year of forward momentum despite turnover. The current chair, Christina Gangswich is away on parental leave right now. SustainRT blog has picked up some speed, and the committee is taking a more strategic approach on how to get people to contribute. They are focusing on increasing membership, to hit 300 members by end of the year. Watch for several membership drives coming soon.

4 - Call for new committee members

Rebekkah gave an overview of what each committee does and encouraged people to join one. If work of any committees sounds interesting to you, step up and get involved by contacting Madeleine Charney or Rene Tanner.

5 - LIS Accreditation Task Force feedback

The chair of the ALA Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation  invited the board of SustainRT to submit commentary on the importance of the inclusion of “sustainability” as a future context for accreditation.   Given the passage of the Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries by ALA Council last year (attached), the board of SustainRT feels there is a clear mandate for the task force to consider how library school curricula will address issues surrounding sustainability for future library leaders. We particularly feel that this issue falls under the second item the task force has been asked to discuss, that of “Values – e.g., public access, privacy, intellectual freedom-as common threads binding together LIS and related fields and a core element in curricula…” The board put out a call for input on a statement. There are still a few days to send feedback to Rebekkah or Madeleine. They would like to present the statement to the Task Force at Annual in Orlando.

6 - New Procedures Manual

The board is putting finishing touches on new procedures manual.  SustainRT started more organically, but has reached the point where formalizing committees and documenting our work is needed to help us grow and move forward. Board members on working on this, and welcome input from the membership.

7 - Election results and thanks to outgoing board members

Rene announced the winners of the elections: Jodi Shaw, Coordinator Elect; Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mary Beth Lock, Members at Large; Lindsay Marlow, Treasurer; Kate Hutchens, Secretary. She also extended thanks to Peter Hepburn and John Amundsen for all of their advice and support throughout this past year. They also will both continue as our ALA Council Liaison and ALA Staff Liaison, respectively. Thanks were given to those leaving the Board for their service. Also, thanks to those who stepped forward in the elections.

8 - Other announcements

Opened up to whole group to add in chat box.

Madeleine: AASHE Conference will be in Baltimore in October.  Jeanne Pfander and Tracey Urbick, two members of SustainRT will be facilitating a library networking session (

Madeleine:  Colloquium at New York University in May 2017, “Libraries and Archives in Anthropocene. Proposals is August 1, 2016 (

Madeleine: Article about founding of SustainRT  co-authored with Beth Filar Williams, Bonnie Smith in Sustainability: Science, Practice & Policy—“Growing our vision together forming a sustainability community within the American Library Association

Jamie Conklin and Madeleine Charney are offering an online course, “The Sustainability Movement on Campus: Forming a Library Action Plan for Engagement,” which starts in July.

Rebekkah asked everyone to keep eye on work of NY Library Association’s Sustainability Initiative

Johnathan Betz-Zall—working on prospectus for scholarship on permaculture in library planning. For more information contact 

Madeleine reminded people to share resources, questions, ideas on the SustainRT listserv

Current Economist has special section about future of agriculture

Rebekkah is authoring a new New Library Journal column series on sustainability:

9 - Q & A (via chat)

Anyone using permaculture principles in design of LIS services?

Could we add MOOCs to the Environmental Scan?

Any advice on being a change agent for sustainability from a mid-level position in an organization would be much appreciated...feel free to email (  Rebekkah shared thinking on this with NY Library association and will also focus on this topic in a future LJ article. Jonathan shared article:

Jonathan Betz-Zall stated his appreciation for these kinds of meetings as a great way to share resources and mutual support for those who want to lighten their carbon footprint and Madeleine reminded everyone that we try to do these before annual for those that can’t make it.

Meeting adjourned at 1:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Eileen Harrington, Member at Large
June 22, 2016


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