Libraries as Climate Resilience Hubs: Working with Your Community to Take Action


Green Eco System

The impacts of climate change are already being felt by communities across the world. By embedding sustainable decision making into their policies and actions, libraries can become leaders in building community resilience against threats due to climate change. In this webinar, members of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative (SLI) will present case studies from libraries that have integrated triple-bottom-line ideals into the heart of their institutional decision making and, as a result, have transformed their organizations. These examples will show how sustainable best practices within the library can be promoted as a model for other community organizations. Sharing resources and information with community members and working together with community partners can serve to elevate the library’s position as an important stakeholder in planning for an uncertain future. Participants will learn about SLI and its step-by-step guide to incorporating sustainable decision-making strategies into library policies and practice to bring about transformational change.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to work towards making their libraries and communities more resilient in the face of climate change;
  • Identify community organizations to partner with to plan for weather- and climate-related effects in their community; and 
  • Understand the unique position of libraries as leaders in their community by demonstrating organizational decision making that addresses the current and future impacts of climate change.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for all public library staff, administration, and directors.


Matthew Bollerman Matthew Bollerman is the CEO of the Hauppauge (NY) Public Library. Matt previously was director at the Westhampton Free Library in Westhampton Beach, NY, where he helped construct a new $7.8 million LEED Gold building that was recognized by Library Journal in their “New Landmark Libraries” issue. Named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2020, Matt was also recognized by the New York Library Association with their 2014 Outstanding Service to Libraries Award. Matt is co-founder of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative and the American Library Association Sustainability Roundtable Councilor. He is passionate about public libraries' ability  to help regenerate their communities.


Annemarie Gordon Annemarie Gordon is the sustainability coordinator for the Sustainable Libraries Initiative and the Suffolk Cooperative Library System in Bellport, NY. A recent graduate of University at Buffalo’s MILS program, she has served as a library trustee and worked in libraries as an AmeriCorps member.


Rebekkah Smith AldrichRebekkah Smith Aldrich, MLS, LEED AP, is the executive director of the Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) in Poughkeepsie, NY. Prior to this role, Rebekkah was the MHLS coordinator for library sustainability, assisting sixty-six member libraries in the areas of governance, management, funding, and facilities since 1998. Rebekkah is a certified Sustainable Building Advisor (NaSBA), Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), and holds an advanced certificate in Public Library Administration from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University.

Rebekkah is the library sustainability columnist for Library Journal; author of Sustainable Thinking: Ensuring Your Library's Future in an Uncertain World and Resilience, both published by ALA Editions; and author of the Handbook for New Public Library Directors in New York State and co-author of the Handbook for Library Trustees in New York State. She is a Library Journal Mover & Shaker and chair of the ALA Council Committee on Sustainability.

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This live webinar will be CART captioned in English (United States).

Attendees using screen readers are advised to turn off speech prior to joining the Zoom event because PLA webinars make extensive use of chat functionality. Attendees who find chat distracting may wish to disable it in the Zoom event, as PLA moderators will verbally highlight important topics raised in chat and chat transcripts will be provided post-webinar.

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your participation in this webinar, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) at least two weeks prior to the webinar. Without prior notification of need, we may not be able to provide appropriate accommodations for the live event.

Archived Recording

If you're unable to attend this live webinar, an archived recording will be available to all registrants typically within 1–3 business of the live event. Access to closed captions will be provided in the webinar recording.

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be presented using the Zoom platform. Please review Zoom technical requirements and support information, and test your connection.

Once you've joined the webinar, there are two ways to connect your audio: via computer (VoIP) or via telephone. No microphone is required. PLA works with its webinar platform provider to assure the highest quality audio is being delivered to attendees. However, variables over which PLA has no control—such as the speed of your Internet connection or traffic on your local network—can affect the end quality of the webinar audio delivered by your computer. Each webinar’s audio is also available by telephone via a toll number, so we recommend you have access to a long-distance enabled phone as a backup in case you experience audio issues with VoIP. If you do encounter any problems during the webinar, you will receive a link to its archived recording within a week of the live event and can review anything you missed.


This webinar is presented by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Questions about this webinar? Please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

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