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Inspiring Climate Action: A Collaborative Effort and a Perfect Partnership

Lynn Blair (Southwick Public Library, USA)
Andrea Bugbee (Pioneer Valley Library Collaborative, USA)
John Meiklejohn (Pioneer Valley Library Collaborative, USA)

How Public Libraries Build Sustainable Communities in the 21st Century

ISBN: 978-1-80382-436-9, eISBN: 978-1-80382-435-2

Publication date: 8 September 2023


In the context of the risks inherent in global warming, public libraries can partner with each other, community-based environmental groups and/or other institutions to enhance community resilience and sustainability. This chapter presents a case study of an ongoing experiment to address this opportunityand challenge. In April 2021, six Western MA libraries formed a collaborative in conjunction with a local citizens’ group, Voices for Climate [V4C], to expand public education opportunities relating to understanding, mitigating, and adapting to climate change. In its initial year, this effort yielded 13 separate programs serving more than 110 patrons, all within the 7 days of Climate Preparedness Week, a state-wide program held annually. Subsequently, this Pioneer Valley Library Collaborative [PVLC] has grown to 10 library partners and continues its close alliance with V4C. In describing the programs offered in the first year, the challenges met, limitations encountered, and lessons learned, the chapter provides one model for how libraries can jointly choose to become hubs of climate conversation and education as a means to promote their communities’ quality of life, sustainability, and resilience.



Special Thanks to:

  • Colin Battis, CREW

  • Kira Bingemann, Williamstown Public Library

  • Becky Blackburn, Westfield Athenaeum

  • Cher Collins, Agawam Public Library

  • Bernard Davidow, Wilbraham Public Library

  • Michelle Eberle, Massachusetts Library System

  • Antonia Golinski-Foisy, West Springfield Public Library

  • Jacklyn Hart, West Springfield Public Library

  • Jessica Kelmelis, Tolland Public Library

  • Benjamin Kalish, Forbes Library

  • Lise LeTellier, Granville Public Library

  • Stephanie Levine, Emily Williston Memorial Library

  • Guy McLain, Westfield Athenaeum

  • Heather Paparella, Southwick Public Library

  • Meaghan Schwelm, Westhampton Public Library

  • Paula Sharon, V4C

  • Rev. Vernon Walker, CREW

  • Thank you to all of our presenters and panelists for your participation.


Blair, L., Bugbee, A. and Meiklejohn, J. (2023), "Inspiring Climate Action: A Collaborative Effort and a Perfect Partnership", Williams-Cockfield, K.C. and Mehra, B. (Ed.) How Public Libraries Build Sustainable Communities in the 21st Century (Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 53), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 165-174.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Lynn Blair, Andrea Bugbee and John Meiklejohn