The Capacity to Endure

My first article for the new Library Journal column, Sustainability with a Capital S is now live! I start at the beginning. Makes sense right? Just taking a basic first step to define sustainability and some of the thinking around how the Triple Bottom Line affects libraries.

The Capacity to Endure  |  Rebekkah Smith Aldrich  |  May 2, 2016  |  Library Journal

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?

More important, can your residents and students themselves bounce back from disruption? Is your community filled with new and dynamic life that leads to community-based solutions to what ails it? How is your library contributing to this?

I want you to think about not just your library, not just about those you serve, but about the community we all live in, both locally and globally. That needs to be our focus for a sustainable future for libraries. Without sustainable communities to serve, libraries will become afterthoughts in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Self-actualization through our services will be a significant challenge when residents don’t feel safe or accepted, lack clean drinking water, or face limited economic opportunities.

Defining sustainability

I’ve been fine-tuning the concept of a sustainable library for several years. I’m not talking about greening a building or recycling, though those are attributes of a sustainable library. Sustainability transcends green and is best understood by this triple bottom-line model…” Read the full article here

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