Binghamton University Libraries is one of 25 libraries nationwide to be awarded the American Library Association’s Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change full grant. The grant is designed to help libraries engage with their local communities with programs to address the climate crisis.
The successful grant application was submitted by two of our science librarians Neyda Gilman and Jen Embree. With the funding, Neyda and Jen will work with on and off campus individuals and groups on collaborative projects and programming.
“Applying for, and now receiving this grant and becoming a part of this pilot program, has been invigorating in many ways,” said Neyda Gilman. “We have developed collaborations with a wide range of groups and individuals both off and on campus and every single one of them has excitedly and wholeheartedly jumped into working on sustainability issues with us. Not only does this provide us with unique and intriguing ideas, it emphasizes the passion and interest the wider community has in sustainability issues.”
One of the goals of this initiative is to work with underserved populations, including international students, those with food insecurities, the LGBTQ community, and racial minorities, all of whom are frequently left out of discussions on sustainability yet are often the most affected by climate change.
“We are so excited about all of the incredible sustainability collaborations, programming, and events that have and will come about due to this grant,” remarked Jen Embree. “We hope that these efforts will serve as a great beginning to an established and sustained commitment within the Libraries to serve as a hub for sustainability education, activity, research, and activism for our campus community.”
To promote awareness of climate issues and how to address them, the following programs and activities are under development:
- Host a virtual panel discussion with local experts in collaboration with the Broome County Public Library and Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments
- Planning a program on climate change and racism with Binghamton University’s Multicultural Resources Center
- Designating the Libraries as a Climate Resilience Hub, the only one in New York State
- Co-sponsor events with University student groups, such as Zero Hour
- Arrange for group screening of films provided by ALA program with underserved populations
- Create an online sustainability guide to share programs, resources and news
“This innovative program represents an excellent opportunity for libraries to foster discussion and build alliances to combat the climate crisis,” stated Dean of Libraries Curtis Kendrick in his letter of support. “And, the program also represents some new opportunities for libraries to help foster the recognition that we can play an expanded role in promoting awareness about sustainability issues within our communities.”
Of the 25 academic and public libraries to receive a full grant of $1,000, Binghamton is only one of five academic libraries nationwide and is the only library in New York.