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Sustainability and Libraries: ALA and Sustainability

Sustainability as a Core Value of Librarianship

Image of hands holding a globe with text that reads Sustainability and LibrariesDuring her 2021-2022 term, ALA President Patty Wong focused on sustainability as one of her four presidential pillars. In her inaugural speech, President Wong outlined this area of focus, saying:

"To thrive and evolve into the future, ALA must adopt the 'triple bottom line' mindset of sustainability: We must embody practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable."

Sustainability was adopted as one of ALA's Core Values of Librarianship by ALA Council in 2019, based on the 2018 recommendations of the ALA Special Task Force on Sustainability

This introductory page of the Sustainability and Libraries resource guide highlights activities from the American Library Association that focus on sustainability as a core value of librarianship. Other pages of the guide provide resources on sustainability, including a bibliography of recent titles and online resources.

Spotlight on Recent ALA Sustainability Outcomes and Programming

Cover slide for ALA Connect Live event titled: Sustainability and Climate Action for Libraries and Our Communities

ALA Connect Live: Sustainability and Climate Action for Libraries and Our Communities

An ALA Connect Live event from February 2022, on the role that libraries can and should have in supporting our communities to adapt to ongoing climate change, and showcasing what some library champions are doing to help their communities while being an engaging conversation as to what that action looks like.

More resources:

Cover of programming guide for Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change

Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change

The pilot program (2020-21) of this initiative helped libraries engage their communities in programs and conversations that address the climate crisis.
The program funded film screenings, community dialogues and related events based on local interest in 25 public and academic libraries. It also funded the creation of a suite of free programming resources about the climate crisis that is available to all libraries.

Cover image of Sustainability in Libraries: A Call to Action report, with animated image of a man and a woman speaking into megaphones while standing atop stacks of books

Sustainability in Libraries

A briefing from the ALA Council Committee on Sustainability, issued in 2022.

Infographic for the Triple Bottom Line approach to

The Triple Bottom Line

A visual resource on the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion in a community's sustainability practices.

Other ALA Resources

Additional resources on sustainability from the American Library Association.

ALA Groups

ALA Guidelines, Policies and Resolutions

These guidelines, policies and resolutions have been created and adopted by ALA as a continued effort to advocate for the importance of sustainability in libraries, and to help libraries promote community awareness about resilience, climate change and a sustainable future. They are listed in chronological order with the most recent at the top.