Madeleine Charney, sustainability studies librarian, was the keynote speaker at an international conference this month in Hong Kong co-sponsored by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Library and the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library.
The conference, “Academic Librarian 4 – Sustainable Academic Libraries: Now and Beyond,” addressed the topic of sustainability as it relates to academic libraries and was held at HKUST June 2-3. The event also celebrated HKUST’s 25th anniversary and brought together library sustainability experts from all over the world.
Charney’s speech highlighted the role of the academic librarian in the sustainability movement. “I talked about how librarians already do outreach across disciplines as well as provide space that is open to all, bridging the siloes of our institutions. These embedded practices uniquely position us to foster interdisciplinary sustainability conversations and strengthen programs.”
She also noted her fellow librarian’s responsibility to students. “It is our job to empower them with research skills and energize them as writers and speakers, so they are prepared to create and lead a more sustainable world,” she said.
Charney spoke about the Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT), under the American Library Association. As co-founder and current coordinator of the group, she presented Sustain RT as a model for librarians in other countries.
The conference covered a broad range of sustainability subjects including: green library buildings, sustainability programming, digital documentation of social movements, diversity issues in information instruction, and energy-saving technologies.
Charney is liaison to the university’s department of landscape architecture and regional planning, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and sustainability studies across the curriculum.