The Massachusetts Library System in partnership with Communities Responding to Extreme Weather  and a core team of librarians is offering a webinar to inspire our members to host a program for Climate Preparedness Week.  In this interview, team member Madeleine Charney, Research Services Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries will tell you about this opportunity.

Please tell us about the upcoming webinar.

Madeleine Charney: If you work in any type of Massachusetts library, you’re invited to host a climate change event during Climate Preparedness Week (September 24th – 30th, 2019). The May 14th 2-3 pm webinar, though not required for hosting an event, will help you think through various event ideas while connected with other climate change conscious library professionals. We’ll begin with background from Craig Altemose and Aaron Troncoso, from Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) the organizers of Climate Prep Week. You’ll then hear from myself and two other librarians from the core organizing team for this collaboration, CJ Wong from Merrimack College Library and Chris Glass from the Boston Public Library.

How can Massachusetts libraries get involved with Climate Preparedness Week?

Madeleine: The main goals of these Massachusetts library events are to build community resilience and create a safety net in advance of extreme weather events.  With an emphasis on World Café, various event ideas will be presented (e.g. environmental justice workshops, maker spaces, mindfulness practices, book talks, film screenings, reflective writing, and interactive displays). There will be time to brainstorm ideas and ways to find local collaborators…the possibilities are limitless. Participating libraries will be represented on an interactive map on CREW’s website. All you’ll need to do is fill out a form on CREW’s website.

What other opportunities are available for librarians to get involved with sustainability?

More than hosting an event, we invite other library professionals to join our emergent core team of collaborators. We meet next on May 3rd 10am-3pm at UMass Medical in Worcester. We’re also open to people joining us that day via web conferencing. Be in touch if either are of interest. To get involved with libraries’ climate change efforts on the national front, check out ALA’s newest and fastest growing group, The Sustainability Round Table: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities.

Any other thoughts you would like to share?

Climate Preparedness Week is only a first step in mobilizing Massachusetts libraries to support community resilience. Plans are in the works to activate more librarians (with partnering organizations) to host climate change events, rippling out into other New England states and perhaps beyond.

For more details on the bigger vision, see Climate Change Conversations in Libraries.

Interview with Madeleine Charney, Research Services Librarian, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Interviewed by Michelle Eberle, Consultant, Massachusetts Library System

Register now to attend the May 14th webinar, Massachusetts Libraries Partner with Climate Preparedness Week.