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Facing the Future: Facilitating Climate Change Conversations at Your Library

Facing the Future: Facilitating Climate Change Conversations at Your Library

From the news that earth surface temperatures hit a record high in 2016, to a presidential administration that denies the effect fossil fuels play in climate change, we are inundated with stories and images about climate change. And yet authentic face-to-face conversations about climate change (with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues) are rare. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, “more than half of those who are interested in global warming or think the issue is important ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ talk about it with family and friends.”

Participants will learn why dialogue about climate change is critical to creating a brighter future, and how librarians can facilitate dialogues that empower our communities to be better equipped to respond, adapt, and mitigate the effects.

This interactive, experiential training will guide you through the creation of a “Climate Communications Toolbox” you can use to facilitate dialogue and host “Climate Conversations” within your library community.

You will:

  • Learn how to create and host “Climate Conversations” at your library.
  • Share ideas for archiving and exhibiting artifacts created in workshops.
  • Brainstorm ideas for building community partnerships.
  • Learn why resilience and social capital are critical for communities to thrive and endure, and how libraries can help communities build both.
  • Experience mindfulness exercises as a tool for “re-wiring” the brain to stabilize the nervous system.
  • Explore your own thoughts and feelings about climate change through storytelling and reflective writing.

We'll break for an hour for lunch.  Please bring a bag lunch or you can explore the local cuisine.


2017 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, Madeleine Charney is the Sustainability Studies Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. She helped launch Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis, a collaborative, campus-wide project that facilitates contemplative experiences in which to explore this global threat. She is co-founder of ALA's newest round table, SustainRT: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities. A Master Gardener and certified in Permaculture Design, she also co-founded her local chapter of Mothers Out Front: Mobilizing for a Livable Climate and serves on the Massachusetts State Leadership Team. Madeleine holds an MLS from University of Rhode Island and an MA in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design.

Jodi Shaw is a Reference, Instruction and Outreach Librarian at Smith College. Prior to her current position, she worked as a Senior Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library where she conducted programming and school outreach. She is the current Coordinator of ALA's round table, SustainRT: Libraries Fostering Resilient Communities. Jodi holds an MLIS from Pratt Institute in 2015 where she received the Senior Leadership Award from the Pratt Office of Student Life. She is an avid cyclist, film buff, meditator, and mother of twin boys. She is deeply passionate about organizational culture, public service, servant leadership and fostering community resiliency through dialogue, outreach and strategic coalition-building. 

Related LibGuide: Facing the Future: Facilitating Climate Change Conversations at Your Library by Anna Popp

Friday, March 16, 2018
10:00am - 3:00pm
CE Classes
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Michelle Eberle

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