Symposium Recap of ‘Earth Day 2023′
Sustainability and Libraries

iStudent Blog
Earth Day Symposium

Published: July 27, 2023 by Eori Tokunaga

As part of the national celebration of Earth Day 2023, the San José State University iSchool hosted an online symposium on April 22, 2023, titled “Earth Day 2023: Sustainability and Libraries.” After a brief introduction about Earth Day and the Seeking Immortality Project with the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in present-day southeastern Montana, Dr. Anthony Chow handed over the microphone to ALA past-president and current iSchool Wellness Ambassador, Loida Garcia-Febo. The symposium also hosted a panel discussion featuring experts in the field of information science, librarianship, and sustainability:  Nick Buron, Kristin Jacobi, Leah Plocharczyk, Dawn Frood, and Dr. Amir Abtahi. 

As the moderator and host for the Earth Day 2023 symposium, Garcia-Febo began the symposium with a presentation on sustainability titled “Libraries Investing in Our Planet: Save Blue. Live Green,” where she talked about the environmental initiatives that libraries are doing in places such as Puerto Rico, Ghana, Singapore, Serbia, and Chile. 

Loida Garcia-Febo

“Libraries are essential to sustainability. They are key to social cohesion and by building sustainable bridges through teaching and learning, with communities served by libraries, we can unlock their potential for people to thrive today and tomorrow.”

In addition to the presentation, Garcia-Febo also showcased what organizations in the U.S. are doing with regard to sustainability.

“More Than A View – Grand Canyon In Depth Episode 01”

Grand Canyon Video

“Libraries to the Rescue” Queens Library Response to Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Video

After the video presentations, Garcia-Febo switched over to a moderated discussion where guest panelists had the opportunity to talk about the growing sustainability efforts around the world, the ways that libraries are helping to preserve the planet and the projects that the panelists are working on with their own organizations.

In particular, the team at Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur Campus Library in Jupiter, Florida, shared their recent project funded through a 2022 EBSCO Solar Grant.

Dawn Frood

“We received the grant in 2022 and we tied it to the goals of the [Florida Atlantic] university for sustainability…Right now there aren’t enough electrical engineers that are trained in solar energy right out of the gate when they graduate to keep up with this. Our project is actually addressing that issue and we’re working with a cohort of students right now for the last semesters so that when they graduate in a few weeks, they’ll be ready to go.” - Dawn Frood, Collection Development Librarian and Liaison Coordinator, Florida Atlantic University Libraries

Click here to watch the full symposium.

Earhday Symposium YouTube

Click here to view the transcript via DOCX.

Click here to view the transcript via PDF. 


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