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Massachusetts Libraries Collaborate on Climate Preparedness and Sustainability

Earth Day Programs Across the Library Landscape

by Gabrielle Griffis on 2024-03-21T19:48:00-04:00 | 0 Comments

  This spring, I am thinking about transformation. As we approach Earth Day and enter into a period of awakening and renewal, how can we take the lessons of winter into the spring? Winter reminds us of our collective need to slow down and to rest. Spring reminds us of rebirth and hope. Taking time to slow down and observe what is happening in our environments as we come out of our wintery slumber can help us in our roles as library workers. How does the ever-shifting pace of the natural and social environment affect how we feel internally? How do we stay grounded in the earth, as our root systems deepen, as we grow and unfurl like plants do? How do we transform ourselves and our world as cocooned caterpillars, break down and reform into beautiful, flight bound butterflies?

            These are some questions I am asking this spring as I meditate on what it means to be a library worker in the age of climate change, rooted in systemic social injustice. I am thinking about how when we change our thoughts and actions, we can look to transformation in nature for inspiration, and do so in a slow-intentional way. I am also thinking about how library workers are putting their hearts and souls into transformative programming and practices every day, as the hashtag #librariestransform from the American Library Association celebrates.

            Reaching out to libraries across Massachusetts, I am delighted to feature programs and initiatives librarians are implementing in their communities with very heartfelt intentions on our blog. I hope they uplift and inspire all who are touched by their intention and maybe give others ideas for new and meaningful ways to engage with our communities.  

Norwell Public Library

 Norwell Public Library has a beautiful series of programs this April beginning with The Authentic Garden: Demystifying Native Plants in the Landscape, Kristen Nicholson on Wednesday, April 3rd, 6:30—7:30 PM. In this event, Kristen Nicholson will discuss the myths and legends surrounding native plants and why certain myths are harmful to the cause of ecological health, as well as exploring some historical indigenous usage of plants in the area. 

On Wednesday, April 10th, 5:30—8:00 PM, they will have a Dinner and a Movie Screening of Kiss The Ground, which reveals that by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. Pizza dinner will start at 5:30pm, and folks are also welcome to bring their own food. The film will end with a short discussion. 

On Saturday, April 13th, 2:00—3:00 PM, Stephanie Ellis, Wild Care’s Executive Director will present on Attracting Native Songbirds to Your Backyard. From feeder types to bird seed to native plants and nest box resources. Stephanie will provide info for attracting a variety of species of birds to your yard throughout the year. 

Next, on Wednesday, April 17th, 6:00—7:45 PM, will be Our Ecosystem and Your Backyard: Earth Day Panel.  This panel discussion will provide easy ways individuals can make a difference right from their own backyards, including information on permaculture and understand ecosystems, how to identify native plants vs invasive species, how to create a sustainable lawn/garden, and more. 

On Tuesday, April 30th, 6:30—7:30 PM Norwell's Become a Climate Champion! will address the urgency of climate change impacts and Mass Audubon's Climate Champions Program. With the Climate Champions program, Mass Audubon is building a network of new and experienced changemakers. Participants in the Champions program will gain the knowledge, skills, inspiration, and connections needed to make change, together.

West Tisbury Free Public Library

On Tuesday, April 16th from 1:30-3:00 The West Tisbury Library will be offering its back garden as a haven for gnomes/fairies and their homes. Bring your own natural building materials or use ours! Bark, shells, seed pods, feathers, twigs, rocks, fur, pine cones, moss, lichen, small driftwood, etc. We will build natural homes for gnomes and fairies to visit the library. Free and open to the public, no sign up required. 

Ashland Public Library 

Wednesday, April 3 the Environmental Book Club will be discussing "The Insect Crisis" by Oliver Milman. " In The Insect Crisis, acclaimed journalist Oliver Milman dives into the torrent of recent evidence that suggests this kaleidoscopic group of creatures is suffering the greatest existential crisis in its remarkable 400-million-year history. What is causing the collapse of the insect world?"

On Thursday, April 11 will be a  Minimizing Food Wastage for Families with Sarah Robertson-Barnes - In this event, Sarah will be discussing how to minimize or eliminate food wastage, especially with kids. Sarah will have all kinds of ideas to take baby steps to save, use, or compost food scraps so none (or little) goes into landfills! All ages are welcome. Sarah Robertson-Barnes, founder of the Sustainable in the Suburbs blog, is a freelance writer, educator, and consultant.  

On Wednesday, April 17 will be a Cooking with Scraps Baking demonstration and discussion. Lindsay-Jean Hard, cookbook author and sustainability warrior, and Amy Emberling, Managing Partner of Zingerman's Bakehouse, will instruct on how we can make use of those scraps, keep them out of landfills, and still have enough left-over for our compost pile! Amy and Lindsay-Jean will kick off with a baking demonstration of the classic banana bread made at Zingerman's Bakehouse (it includes the whole fruit—yup, peels too!), a recipe featured in their latest cookbook, Celebrate Every Day.

Lastly, on Saturday, April 27th Tree Sapling distribution in collaboration with Neighborhood Forest - The Ashland Public Library is collaborating once again with Neighborhood Forest, this spring, in celebration of Earth Day, to inspire youth environmentalism. Families who register to receive a free tree sapling to plant with their child(ren) can come by the library to collect it.   

Seekonk Public Library

Seekonk Public Library is excited to announce a special Earth Day workshop that combines creativity, mindfulness, and environmental consciousness. In celebration of Earth Day, they invite patrons to join them for the program Earth Day Workshop: Wrapped Stones on Wednesday, April 10 at 6 PM at Seekonk Public Library. Librarian Michelle Gario will help participants in this hands-on workshop to create a reminder of earth’s natural beauty. Participants will also learn about resources from the Seekonk Recycling Committee to help reduce waste.

Maynard Public Library

Maynard Public Library will be hosting a Fixit Clinic on Saturday, April 20th! Participants are invited to bring their broken small appliances, bicycles, clothing/textiles, electronics, toys, etc., for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair. The library will provide workspace, tools, and guidance by volunteer coaches to help participants disassemble, troubleshoot, and maybe even FIX their items! 

Gladys E. Kelly Public Library 

Gladys E. Kelly Public Library in Webster, MA was awarded a grant from the Association for Rural & Small Libraries  through the generosity of the Manton Foundation to build a garden on the property. In its first year, the garden was successful enough for Staff to offer flowers, vegetables, and herbs for free to the community. Many children were able to try a vegetable they had never eaten before, and reported that they actually enjoyed it! To kick off the gardening season this year, and in celebration of Earth Day, the Library will be offering sprouted pea plants for patrons to take home. The Library's garden committee will be planting seeds in individual peat pots, and Staff will be watering them meticulously in the week before Earth Day. Pea plants will be made available in the Library's lobby for pickup starting April 22nd. There is a limit of one plant per person, with a total of 150 being planted. When the pea plants are ready for transplant, patrons can directly sow the peat pot into a porch container or in their own gardens. The Library hopes that a single sprout in the hands of the right person will inspire a love of watching things grow and healthy eating!

Sturgis Library

Celebrate Earth Month with Barnstable Land Trust and Sturgis Library with special events and programs all month long! Start by visiting the library and add your Earth Month wish to BLT's Wish Tree. Handcrafted by Kelly Barber, BLT’s Director of Land Stewardship, this natural sculpture represents 10 different types of woods from 5 different BLT properties. Then pick up an Earth Month Bingo Card featuring recommended books and hiking trails to check off to be eligible for special prizes. Stay tuned for special hikes, lectures, and activities for the full calendar of events.

Click on the links below or visit to learn more about the Earth Month Events!


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