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The Power of Three: Academic Librarians, the Curriculum and Sustainability Madeleine Charney, UMass Amherst Libraries ACRL-NE conference 6/1/12 Photo:

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Presentation on theme: "The Power of Three: Academic Librarians, the Curriculum and Sustainability Madeleine Charney, UMass Amherst Libraries ACRL-NE conference 6/1/12 Photo:"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Power of Three: Academic Librarians, the Curriculum and Sustainability Madeleine Charney, UMass Amherst Libraries ACRL-NE conference 6/1/12 Photo: Tim Platt, Getty Images

2 What is “sustainability?” “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." From the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987

3 The Three Aspects of Sustainability Image: Image: Sustainable Campbell River

4 In other words… …it’s about survival Image:

5 Some motivation for “sustainability” in Higher Education “Among prospective students and parents, 69 percent said that a campus's eco-friendliness would influence their decisions on where to apply.” From “More Colleges Adding 'Green' to School Colors” New York Times, August 16, 2011

6 Is “sustainability” top down? Bottom up? Both? Rat Man, Bugelski and Alampay (1961)

7 American University & College Presidents’ Climate Commitment EXCERPTS: Campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability into their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society. Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral, which will include: Actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.

8 The next portion of my presentation is derived from survey responses (112) and follow up telephone interviews (24) with academic librarians in the U.S. who are instrumental in shaping sustainability on their campuses. Based on 2011 Sabbatical Project: “Academic Librarians and Sustainability in the Curriculum.”

9 Why Librarians? Teachers of critical thinking and sound reasoning Seasoned consolidators and distributors of information Systems Thinkers Unique perspectives on curricular development Involved in expansive networks across campus Photo: Leslie Schaler

10 What inspires you most about this work? “General personal ethic - an imperative that we have to - we have no choice.” – Charles Vesei, Baldwin-Wallace College “The Library’s Sustainability LibGuide is #1 for hits and there is no course connected to it…It’s a real positive note because I assume in many cases that LibGuides are used “just in time” because students are doing assignments… people are just interested. We are going back to the 70’s to ‘finish the job.’” - Janet Klaessig, Delaware Valley College The thing that’s cool about librarians – we’re all about sharing information. We’ve been “sustainable” for years. We’re already half way there! … Librarianship and sustainability are a no brainer -- to take that and make it more conscious. I bet there are going to be a lot more ‘sustainability librarians’ in the world soon. “ – Sarah Dorsey, Univ. North Carolina Greensboro

11 Who answered the survey

12 Please specify the topics of your research guides below. Choose as many as are relevant. Some “others”

13 By Mark Lenker, Greenwood Library Longwood University

14 Briefly describe any curriculum-related connections or communications that you or your Library have with the "Office of Sustainability" or their staff Meet regularly Collaborate on LibGuides Track sustainability courses Co-facilitate sustainability book group Co-coordinate sustainability conference Post selected book lists on the OoS web site Co-create for-credit sustainability internship Administer Sustainability Faculty Fellows program Carry out the STARS assessment (curriculum section) Work together on sustainability curriculum committee Select materials for discussion-based courses; materials added to the Library collection

15 Barriers (aka “touchy subjects”) “Fiefdoms” in academia Territorialism between faculty members/departments Blurring lines of Liaison Librarian areas Photo: Leslie Schaler

16 Neutral place - meetings, programs, activities United place - Institutional Repository brings silos together Sharing place - collaboration, consolidation and conservation of resources Learning place – workshops, presentations, demonstrations Photo: Leslie Schaler The Library as “Common Ground”

17 Ready, Set, Action! Please refer now to Your “Take Action” Checklist Image:

18 “Librarians are evolving along with their work…” -Mark Lanker, Longwood University Image:

19 Madeleine Charney MLIS, University of Rhode Island (1991) MALD, Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design, Conway School of Landscape Design (2003) Contact: Research & Liaison Services W.E.B. Du Bois Library University of Massachusetts Amherst Web site:


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