June 26, 2017

Net Positive | Library Design 2017

Libraries are a key element in community ecosystems. Now imagine a library that actually is an environmental ecosystem of its own. The furthest reaching green building certification uses the metaphor of the flower—thriving within a given habitat by pulling nutrients from the soil, using sunlight for photosynthesis, and depending on the sky for rain—to describe the requirements for its green building program. Each element of the certification is called a petal, and each represents a major part of the eco­system: energy, water, and materials. The International ­Living Future Institute administers the Living Building Challenge.

Subversive Librarians | Sustainability

Overnight we went from a president who declared climate change as the single greatest threat to future generations to a president, and Senate, who appointed a climate change denier to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Arming the Ramparts | Sustainability

The sustainability of our world depends on a strong social fabric in local communities where people know and respect one another. This social fabric is key for resilient communities in the face of environmental, economic, and social disruption. That fabric is now torn in many places thanks to the vitriol and viciousness of the presidential election and fears about what will happen next.

Deliberate Resilience | Sustainability

Resilience: to bounce back after disruption. We’ve dealt with a lot of disruption as libraries and citizens in the past year. From a pretty insane presidential race to a major nationwide Internet outage caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that harnessed the Internet of Things to hurricanes, drought, and forest fires, we’ve got disruption in just about every sector of modern life.

Calling All Change Agents: Let’s build a sustainability movement | Editorial

It’s time to ignite a movement in libraries, one that faces head-on the pressing threat brought by climate change and addresses every way we can help to secure a better future, or, in more stark terms, a future for the generations to follow. This seems more imperative every day, but the functional response is limited.

The Future of the Planet | Designing the Future

As society faces what many now call the Anthropocene age, the impacts of climate change and humankind’s role in it will influence, literally, everything.

Sustainability: Each Choice Tells Our Story | Designing the Future

I’ve been working hard to ­ensure libraries understand that sustainability involves far more than “going green.” Embracing the Triple Bottom Line definition of sustainability helps libraries think holistically about the environmental, economic, and social aspects of their library and community. Nonetheless, libraries have a lot of work to do on the “going green” side of things.

Local Supports Local | Sustainability

Empower. Engage. Energize. These three words describe the relationship between a sustainable library and its users. It’s a two-way street: a library can empower patrons to do good things by engaging with them to understand their aspirations. A community can feel the authentic interest a library has in being a part of that community’s conversations, whether by being at the table or convening “the table” to find community-based solutions.

The Capacity To Endure | Sustainability

Think big—I mean really big—about the future of your library and its capacity to endure. Does it have the support it needs? Can it bounce back after disruption? Do its services and programs bring new and energetic life to the community, school, or campus that it serves?