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Charney: “Libraries are trusted spaces. They’re generally open to everyone. Everybody’s welcome.”

Madeleine Charney is a librarian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She says libraries offer communities more than books, DVDs, and research help. They can also convene community conversations about climate change. And she wants to empower her fellow librarians to take the lead.

Charney: “It’s not just inviting someone to come and speak in your library for programming, but you yourself as a librarian can be the front person if you feel called to this climate change topic.”

Librarians can take this magical conversation, turn it outward, share it, and 'hopefully bring more people to the table.' Click To Tweet

She’s using a six-month sabbatical to lead workshops on climate change with librarians across New England. Participants learn how to facilitate creative, non-threatening community dialogues. And they brainstorm ways to share the outcomes with the larger community.

Charney: “Might you do some digital storytelling or have an exhibition or make a Facebook page, a video, a website? You can take this magical conversation with your community and turn it outward and share it and hopefully bring more people to the table and raise their awareness about climate change.”

Reporting credit: Rosie Simon/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Copyright protected.

AUTHOR
Jan Ellen Spiegel is a freelance writer and editor based in Connecticut. In 2013, she received a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate.

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