Libraries can actively promote climate change literacy and support their local communities’ actions to address our planetary climate crisis.
Climate change touches almost every aspect of our daily lives–from the food we eat, water we drink, air we breathe, our homes, our health, our jobs, and beyond. Because the climate change crisis is so vast, information about it can be overwhelming and dis-empowering, or challenging to access. While scientists and experts are working on different ways to bring information to the general public, it is still a challenge. Public libraries can play a key role in promoting the necessary materials to understand climate science and positively contribute to the generation of knowledge and action around this planetary crisis.
Climate change is having a greater impact at lower temperatures than previously predicted, and scarily extreme weather is the new norm. Here in Marin, all of us are living with extreme drought and almost a year-round fire season. Climate change literacy helps us learn about how we’re all affected by climate change, but also how some in our community may be more vulnerable.
In Marin County, there are communities that live in constant environmental risk from contamination and changes in our climate. According to the Race Counts report, Marin ranks as the 2nd most racially disparate county in California, and according to the “Healthy Built Environment” indicators, the environmental risks are concentrated in communities of color. This also intersects with high levels of poverty, housing discrimination, and racism over generations, making it harder for these communities to adapt and be resilient in the face of climate change. But this group of indicators also shows us that we are all affected in one way or another, which is why people and communities all over the world are taking action to demand climate justice.
Creating climate literacy can also help us get more involved. Libraries in Marin will be celebrating Earth Day this April, but also work year-round to provide information on climate change in and across a variety of platforms, media, and languages, including Marin's Climate Action Plan and other County of Marin resources.
Libraries are a place where our communities come together. Just by entering a library, we become more receptive, open to learn, share, meet, create, and to become empowered with new knowledge and information. This helps us find our voice, build community, and take actions in our own way. Recognizing this planetary crisis as a reality, and knowledge and information as a necessity, also allows us to envision a more just, diverse, equitable and inclusive world. Libraries help make this possible!
More Than A Day -The first ever Earth Day was in 1970! - MCFL Katrina
Engage, Conserve and Restore - OverDrive - MCFL Katrina
Vibrant and Multicolored Landscapes - MCFL Katrina
Broaden your understanding of nature, environmental challenges, and the climate crisis.
Content contributors: Cris Criollo, Katrina Sadler, Noemi Suárez, and April