On-Demand Webinar: Best of Core at ALA Annual Conference: Championing Net-Zero Energy for your Library

Description: Libraries, as civic institutions, have a responsibility to embody the values they promote in their communities. A Net-Zero Energy library building is a way of demonstrating a commitment to long-term sustainability. This program is structured for an audience of all experience levels, and will educate attendees on the core principles of passive building design and Net-Zero Energy. The program uses a case study framework to articulate the sustainable strategies used in two Net-Zero Energy public library facilities. One is the Charlotte & William Bloomberg Medford Public Library, a 45,000 square foot new construction building serving an urban population in Massachusetts. The other is the Howard Lake Library, a 6,700 square foot new construction branch of the Great River Regional L.ibrary, replacing a 43-year-old facility in this rural community outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The panel will share insights into the process of exploring, evaluating, and implementing high performance construction, sharing commonalities and differences. In addition, the panel will be able to speak to planning and construction techniques that can be applied to improve the performance of existing library buildings. Attendees will learn about pre-design planning strategies for budgeting and the pursuit of supportive funding. But perhaps most importantly, they will gain tips for engaging with their community and library stakeholders in a dialogue about the long-term value and benefits of Net-Zero Energy. Attendees will leave the session better equipped to advocate for sustainable energy in their own libraries

Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of this webinar, the attendees will be able to:

  • Define Net Zero Energy for buildings. 
  • Describe the concepts behind facility energy demands, renewable energy production, and impact on reduced operating costs. 
  • Differentiate between the basic principles of passive design that can be implemented for existing facilities and new buildings. 
  • Communicate the benefits of sustainable design and operational strategies to stakeholders. 
  • Evaluate and advocate for sustainable building practices at your own library.

    Who Should Attend: library directors, branch managers, facilities staff, administrative leaders, architects, and designers


    Angela Ward Hyatt is the President of Schwartz/Silver and the leader of the firm’s practice in Library Design. Over the past three decades, Angela’s work has been recognized with nine national design awards and over two dozen regional and local awards. She has presented her work at national conferences for the ALA, the USGBC, Library Journal, and the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts. Angela holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University and a Master of Architecture with Distinction from Harvard University. Earlier this year, she was elevated to the American Institute of Architects' College of Fellows for her achievements in library design.

    Kelsey Laser gave up on youthful plans to be a lawyer -- a high school career fair brought her to her senses -- Kelsey brings a lawyerly attention to detail to all her projects. She joined Schwartz/Silver initially as part of work-study program at Northeastern University, where she minored in environmental studies. Since graduating and becoming a licensed architect, much of Kelsey's work has focused on public building projects with complex and highly-regulated bidding requirements. Her real passion, however, is sustainable design, and she serves as the firm's sustainability coordinator and continuing education liaison.

    Susan Morgan has established strong working relationships with clients by resolving the unique complexities each project and context present. Working with public library clients across much of the US, Susan has supported these institutions as they transition from 20th century modalities of service to 21st century responsive, adaptive, and evolving public resources for lifelong learners of all ages. Susan is committed to responsive design, grounded in active dialogue with clients and stakeholders to reflect specific community needs, and focused outcomes that support service deliver, relationship-building, and the cultivation of curiosity about learning. As a teacher for 17 years at the Boston Architectural College, Susan brings a unique lens to drawing out needs and goals and translating them into creative solutions.


    By phone: 1-800-545-2433 (press 1 to reach our customer service representatives)

    By mail: To register by check or purchase order, please email registration@ala.org. Our registration department will send you an invoice or registration form.

    Core Code of Conduct: Please review the Statement of Conduct before registering.


    If you have a question or need to make arrangements for special assistance or additional accessibility, please contact Mia Blixt-Shehan (mblixtshehan@ala.org).

    Tech Requirements

    Core Webinars are held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform.