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#NYLA2020 : Beyond Thunderdome Regenerative Thinking for Libraries

Program Description: Is your Library, library staff, building, programs, collections adding new capital to your community? Would you agree that your library is "bringing new and energetic life to fruition" by all you do? If the answer is maybe or no, then come explore the concept of regenerative thinking. Explore the concepts of capital, who are the true stakeholders in our community, and are they being heard.


  • Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System
  • Matthew Bollerman, Hauppauge Public Library

Pentad imagw
Brief notes

  • The damage that we're seeing caused by climate change is going to get worse.
  • What if we put respect and empathy in the center of what we do?
  • "We think libraries can help lead the way."
  • Regenerative: processes that restore, renew, or revitalize their own sources of energy or materials
  • Examples:
    • The Eco Machine - Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY - "All the water from Omega's campus, including water used in toilets, showers, and sinks, flows to the Eco Machine™, where it is purified by microscopic algae, fungi, bacteria, plants, and snails. This natural water reclamation process cleans the water using zero chemicals. In large dispersal fields under the parking lot, the purified water is returned to the aquifer deep beneath campus."
    • Greyston Bakery creates baked goods so they can hire people. Building the post-COVID economy: The case for open hiring.
  • Pentad (see image above) - These five areas need to be in balance in your decision-making in order to be regenerative: Consumer, Community, Co-creator, Investors, Earth
  • Sustainable Libraries Initiative
  • Info from Bill Reed and the & Group (see image below) 
  • Kay Raworth TED Talk (16 min.) 
  • The US city preparing itself for the collapse of capitalism (2019)
  • The Santa Monica Wellbeing Project
  • Wellbeing Index 
  • Four libraries in NYS has been certified as sustainable and one in the wings, with 30 more on their way!
Image on steps to become resilient based on work from Bill Reed

Six steps on regenerative thinking for libraries

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#NYLA2020 : Beyond Thunderdome Regenerative Thinking for Libraries


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