VLA 1st Thursdays for December

Sustainable Libraries and Resilient Communities

Sustainable librarianship might seem like a “nice in theory” kind of idea but much of what we do, especially in our small Vermont libraries, falls under this umbrella. From “reusing” books through library circulation to installing solar panels and so much in between, libraries are the proving ground. Join Mindy Blank and Madeleine Charney, two sustainability pioneers, for their take on sustainability and how it applies to what we do and we can do. In addition, learn about the new Sustainable Libraries: Blue Marble Vermont initiative to get underway in 2022, fully funded from the Vermont Community Foundation.

Mindy Blank is a Climate Futurist and the Executive Director of Community Resilience Organizations. Her overarching focus is on building social infrastructure for the Northeastern US to act as a climate refuge by creating alternatives to dominant, oppressive systems that address late-stage capitalism and land sovereignty for people who have been marginalized by cultures of colonization. Mindy works closely with the Every Town project on creating safe, welcoming, actively anti-racist communities that support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) land stewards and is part of a team working on complementary legislation – the VT BIPOC Land Access and Opportunity Act. She is a grassroots climate justice organizer with a legal background, supporting communities and networks in designing local resilience-building projects, of which libraries are a key network as organizing hubs for integrating community resilience through a justice and educational lens.

Madeleine Charney is a master gardener, labyrinth facilitator, mindfulness teacher, climate change activist and the mother of a teenager. She holds an MLS from the University of Rhode Island and an MA in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Ecological Design from the Conway School of Landscape Design. Madeleine works at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts where she supports the departments of landscape architecture, regional planning and agriculture. She sits on various campus committees involved in the energy transition (and inner transition) for a habitable planet. She is a co-founder of ALA’s Sustainability Round Table: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

1st Thursday — Using critical whiteness to study the experience of race in libraries

Emily Crist, Champlain College.
Despite an increasing awareness of the structural racial oppression and inequities within our society and institutions, little research has worked to unpack how library practitioners understand the way race shows up in our spaces, policies, procedures, behaviors, and habits. This session will discuss a qualitative study that used a critical whiteness lens to explore (1) how whiteness is experienced within academic libraries and (2) what contexts and settings both locally and nationally (re)create habits of whiteness. This session will introduce critical whiteness and critical librarianship and will detail five resulting themes arising from interviews with academic librarians that describe how whiteness functions within libraries of higher education.

Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvceGtrDosGNEivCbtcQmNLuXgXsTE2q5K

1st Thursday – Racism’s influence on the library world

Understanding racism’s influence on Vermont, our libraries, and our library associations.
The first step in developing an antiracist agenda is to understand systemic racism’s deep influence on our culture and institutions. In this session, we’ll take an unflinching look at how racism is part of our state and the profession of librarianship, including our associations. Building on this understanding, we’ll discuss what we can do to undo the harm caused by this history, and ask how we can reframe our efforts in the language of antiracism.