Sustainable Thinking: Ensuring Your Library's Future in an Uncertain World

ALA. Feb. 2018. 216p. index. ISBN 9780838916889. pap. $49.99. PRO MEDIA
Aldrich (sustainability coordinator, Mid-Hudson Lib. Syst., NY) delivers an exciting, groundbreaking pitch for sustainable thinking in libraries. The author draws on principles of environmental sustainability (such as green building) not only to make libraries more ecofriendly but also to strengthen and preserve the buildings themselves. For Aldrich, sustainable thinking means rethinking library operations strategically to align with professional values, community needs, and enduring futures. Sustainable thinking helps libraries survive, thrive, and be resilient amid disruptions, whether budget cuts or climate change. The author adapts environmental science, business, and design literature to make her points, blending concepts with case studies (mostly from public libraries) and action items. The majority of chapters include a worksheet with eye-catching titles such as "Disruption Inventory" or "What's Your Why?" This offering pushes readers to examine where their library falls on the sustainability spectrum and how to bolster what the author calls "the triple bottom line" of economics, equity, and the environment.
VERDICT Featuring lively prose, splashy concepts, and writing exercises evocative of Seth Godin (Linchpin; All Marketers Are Liars), Aldrich's book is refreshing and required reading for library leaders and advocates.

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