Your Name and Title:  Margaret Woodruff, Director

Library, School, or Organization Name: Charlotte Library

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Charlotte, VT USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Small & rural libraries interested in developing sustainable practices and relationships to build resilient communities

Short Session Description (one line):  Rural libraries in the SLIP (Sustainable Libraries in Practice) Stream

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

  1. Introduction
  2. Rural & small libraries are most of the libraries in Vermont. How can we work within our communities and our profession to promote and practice sustainable librarianship?
  3. My Plan
  • What we have been able to do so far: largely a result of serendipity and circumstance
  • What we’d like to do:
  1. include sustainability and resilience thinking as identified core values in our mission, strategic plan and program goals to guide all we do here at the Charlotte Library
  2. Include sustainability and resilience thinking as measures of librarianship statewide and provide training and guidance for all libraries in Vermont
  3. Sustainability in Libraries
  4. Background:
  • Charlotte Library is located in a town of 3700. We have 3000 cardholders and a supportive community that enabled us to complete an expansion project that nearly doubled the size of our library and allowed us to add a program room, telecommuting space and an expanded children’s area.


  • Sustainability: Has been an informal guide for our programs and our planning.  Staff and Library Board are enthusiastic and willing but we need framework and some forward planning.


  • Current Efforts in Sustainability
  1. Charlotte Seed Library: A project to encourage and support our community’s home food producers and seed savers. It is part of a network of Seed Libraries and Seed Savers worldwide, which promote the growing of heirloom varieties and keeping seeds in the hands of the people.
  2. Library Conservation Corner: Thanks to a generous donation and expert advice from the Charlotte Energy Committee, the library now features a corner dedicated to environmental stewardship and conservation. This spot will include resources, both print and digital, about overall efforts as well as individual endeavors that can help create a more sustainable and resilient community.  There will also be a dedicated iPad to access a variety of energy-related sites and helpful information.  In addition to these materials, an infrared camera and a Kill-o-Watt electricity usage monitor are available for checkout; these tools allow homeowners to measure heat loss and electricity waste. 
  3. Ahead of the Storm: A community partnership program committed to helping communities change the way stormwater is managed on properties in order to reduce water pollution and to be more prepared for extreme weather events.
  4. Supporting a Healthy Community Head to Toe: A series of programs designed to highlight vulnerable issues in our community from mental health to climate change.
  • Partnerships: Key to Success
  1. Transition Town Charlotte
  2. Charlotte Energy Committee
  3. Charlotte Conservation Commission
  4. Charlotte Congregational Church
  5. Charlotte Central School
  6. Philo Ridge Farm
  7. Going Forward: Local & statewide
  • Make sustainability and resilience foundations for all the work we do at the library. Have these practices ingrained in all the projects, plans and partnerships.
  • The homework: See accompanying outline
  • Sample Projects
  1. Resilience Umbrella Project: Working with the Vermont Community Resilience Organizations group to issue a town-wide survey to assess resilience and sustainability and then develop the action list to help individuals, community organizations and local government strengthen and protect our community. The final document presented to the town for a vote to be included in the Town Plan or other means of official commitment.
  2. Vermont Libraries in the SLIP Stream: Share the Charlotte Library experience


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