Sustainable California Libraries

Librarian with three small children in a community teaching garden, looking at a butterfly perched on the librarian's outstretched hand

A guest post by Julianna Robbins, Library Programs Consultant, California State Library

According to a June 2022 poll from NextGen California, climate / environment was ranked as the top issue for likely California voters — above inflation, homelessness, and crime and public safety. California libraries and communities are already feeling the impacts of climate change. What are California libraries doing to actively address the need for information and community connections on climate, wildfires, drought, pollution, habitat protection, biodiversity and more?

Do you wish you could do more, but struggle with staffing and lack of funding? Do you feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the issues? At this “everyone in” moment in time, we all can play an important role in shifting to more sustainable programs, services, and buildings. Below are a few ways you might get involved today, at whatever level of involvement feels right and at the capacity you have.

Building Momentum: Steps You Can Take Now – from (almost) any level in the library

Greg Lucas, California State Librarian, reminds us that neighborhood libraries serve an important role in community resilience. “Libraries and museums are unique in that people want to go visit them. So, whatever libraries are championing, or showcasing is going to be that much more accessible to visitors. If libraries walk the walk as well as talk the sustainability talk, the changes in behavior our communities need to make will come that much sooner.” 

California libraries need more seats as the sustainability table. Are we ready to lead, listen, and engage with the urgent and essential mind shift to sustainability? Let’s continue the conversation and grow together. Please reach out to sustainability@library.ca.gov with ideas or questions.

Sustainable California Libraries