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Gather, Educate, Prepare: Libraries as Champions to Build Informed and Climate-Resilient Communities
ALA Virtual 2020 (2020)
  • Adrian K. Ho, University of Kentucky
  • René Tanner, Arizona State University
  • Monika Antonelli, Minnesota State University
The past few years have witnessed increasing numbers of discussions and programs about the impacts of climate change, addressing topics from the devastating wildfires in California, relentless heat waves in Europe, to the accelerating thaw of the ice sheet in Greenland. The media has described the social atmosphere using such terms as climate angst, ecological grief, and existential crisis. Weighed down by a steady stream of climate news, some people have sought professional help for guidance on tackling emotional responses to natural disasters and climate trauma. Meanwhile, many of us are wondering what can be done. As a central player to build vibrant communities, libraries can assume an active role in educating people about climate change, its ramifications, and practical counteractions. Doing so is especially fitting given that ALA has added sustainability as a core value of librarianship. This presentation aims to inform the audience of how public and academic libraries have organized outreach events to raise their user communities’ understanding of climate and related issues in terms of sustainability, resilience, and regeneration. Presenters will identify resources and potential partners that libraries can consider when planning such events and relevant services. Examples and information provided by this presentation will illuminate how libraries can actively contribute to the well-being of their user communities by serving as catalysts, connectors, and conveners. They will also demonstrate how librarians can put the core value of sustainability into practice and help users prepare for the consequences of climate change.
  • Academic libraries,
  • Public libraries,
  • Community engagement,
  • Outreach services,
  • Public programs,
  • Social change,
  • Climate change,
  • Sustainability,
  • Resilience,
  • Sustainable development
Publication Date
June 24, 2020
A poster presentation at ALA Virtual 2020, a three-day online professional event that replaces the American Library Association Annual Conference 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Citation Information
Adrian K. Ho, René Tanner and Monika Antonelli. "Gather, Educate, Prepare: Libraries as Champions to Build Informed and Climate-Resilient Communities" ALA Virtual 2020 (2020)
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