University Libraries Receives Grant to Support Climate Change

The University Libraries has received a $500 stipend from Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) that helps libraries engage their communities in programs and conversations on the climate crisis. 

“In a time when climate change is beginning to dramatically affect our everyday lives, we are eager to bring these fact-based, educational programs and dialogues to our community,” said Interim Dean of University Libraries Mike Crumpton. 

The University Libraries will use the $500 to support a community partner, the Guilford Urban Farming Initiative (GUFI), which is a local nonprofit organization that provides access to affordable nutritional produce to all citizens irrespective of income.   

“We are fully committed to support the University Libraries’ vision of the long-term sustainability of this initiative,” said GUFI Executive Director Paula Sieber. 

Associate Professor and Department Head of the Harold Schiffman Music Library Sarah Dorsey is no stranger to educating the community on green living and environmental consciousness. Fifteen years ago, she launched the UNCG Sustainability Film and Discussion Series, which has brought the university and the community together to learn about and discuss important environmental issues. 

“Sarah has created several important hubs that are designed to educate and connect people in the community,” said Academic Sustainability Coordinator and Associate Professor Etsuko Kinefuchi. 

Twelve years ago, Dorsey created the UNCG International Sustainability Shorts Film Competition, which is held every year in the spring semester. Judges look for submissions that address sustainability and the enduring interconnectedness of social equity, the environment, the economy and aesthetics. Dorsey also started the Green Library Group with colleague Beth Filar-Williams 10 years ago. 

“Our main activities with the Green Library Group are cleaning a stream twice a year and maintaining a couple of plots in the campus garden,” said Dorsey. “But we always want to do more.”  

Resilient Communities strive to raise awareness and provide accurate information about the climate change crisis to the public through libraries. This pilot project has been funded by a generous grant from Andrew and Carol Phelps, the parents of a public librarian and a library master’s student. 

After receiving the Resilient Communities grant, the University Libraries joined the Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) as a Climate Resilience Hub, which will allow University Libraries to be part of a network of local leaders building grassroots climate resilience through inclusive and hands-on education, service and planning. 

“We’re all on this spaceship together,” said Dorsey. “As a Climate Resilience Hub, we can provide communities with the resources and capacity to prepare for and respond to local climate changes equitably, sustainably and collaboratively.”  

As a community institution, the University Libraries will be able to educate residents about extreme weather preparedness and other impacts of climate change. 

The University Libraries will host its first event as a Climate Resilience Hub on April 20, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom with a virtual film screening of “Before the Flood” along with a discussion afterwards. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Visit https://go.uncg.edu/beforetheflood to register today. 


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