SLI/ALA eCourse: Sustainable Librarianship: Core Competencies and Practices

Published on December 14, 2023

Sustainable Librarianship: Core Competencies and Practices

There are a few free spots available for active SLI Members. If interested, please send an email to


This four-week asynchronous eCourse: Sustainable Librarianship: Core Competencies and Practices begins on January 29, 2024 and ends on February 25, 2024(certificate available upon completion.)

Climate change and environmental destruction are a code red for humanity and are this generation’s grandest challenge. In 2019, ALA Council added “Sustainability” as a core value of the profession, adopting the triple bottom line definition of sustainability to ensure balanced decision-making that respects environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic feasibility. As community leaders and facilitators, libraries should be modeling sustainable practices among their staff and within their facilities.

In this special eCourse, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, President of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative, will lead you through the principles and practices of sustainable librarianship along with a group of expert speakers, lecturers and writers. 

Our ability to pull together as neighbors and adapt in the face of what is already happening while lessening the severity of the impacts for future generations will require us to think differently, to adopt a new mindset, and to consider decisions—large and small—through the lens of sustainability. Libraries of all types are perfectly positioned to help with and to lead in this work. We must step up in this moment and find ways to lead by example and inspire those we serve with and for to do the same.

After participating in this course:

  • Students will have a strong understanding of the “triple bottom line” definition of sustainability as adopted by the American Library Association as a Core Value of Librarianship. 
  • Students will be able to accurately describe operational decisions, services, programs, and partnerships their library is already undertaking that better position their institutions as sustainability leaders
  • Using the “sustainable thinking” model, students will be able to make operational decisions as well as design new services, programs, and partnerships to ensure their institutions are relevant and responsive in the face of the impacts of climate change. 
  • Students will understand the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the context of climate justice.

ALA estimates that students will spend approximately 4-6 hours per week on the course. There are no required live sessions, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich will facilitate asynchronous discussions and such, so students should be accessing the course throughout the four weeks, and can go through each week’s materials at their own pace.

ALA Member Price: $188.10

Non Member Price: $209.00

For more information or to register click here.