Sustainability at Fondren Library


Fondren Library embraces the American Library Association’s value of sustainability, affirming that “[s]ustainability means making choices that are good for the environment, make sense economically, and treat everyone equitably. ”

As the library’s Sustainability Plan (written in 2019) explains, Fondren aims to:

  • Promote sustainable approaches to library spaces, including energy efficiency, reduced water usage, and an orientation toward wellness

  • Reduce resource consumption

  • Deepen library support for research and teaching in sustainability

  • Collect and preserve environmentally-focused information and materials, especially those produced by Rice faculty and students

  • Engage with the Rice community to foster a culture of sustainability

Fondren’s sustainability plan was developed by Fondren Fellows Ashley Fitzpatrick and Svetlana Borodina, who were mentored by Lisa Spiro.

CREW Climate Resilience Hub

Fondren Library is a Communities Respond to Extreme Weather (CREW) Climate Resilience Hub.

ALA Resilient Communities

We are grateful to the American Library Association's Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change program for its support.


Fondren Library's recent activities in support of sustainability include:Fondren's eco-rep shows off new trash and recycling bins (2023)

  • Deploying new trash and recycling bins across the library to reduce waste, make trash pickup more efficient, and promote proper recycling
  • Hosting weather preparedness events
  • Developing information guides about environmental media and Historical Environmental Research
  • Assisting an environmental science class in developing a Wikipedia entry about environmental justice
  • Working on an updated sustainability plan for Fondren
  • Participating in larger efforts, including the Digital Library Federation's Climate Justice Working Group

Green Team

Fondren’s Green Team helps the library pursue practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. Members of the team include:

  • Hong-Ye Wang, Fondren eco-rep

  • Joe Goetz, Reference

  • Nicolas Castellanos, Business Information Center

  • Shannon Kipphut-Smith, Digital Scholarship Services

  • Sam Rogers, Electronic Resources

  • Lisa Spiro (chair), Digital Scholarship Services

  • Amanda Thomas, User Experience Office

Past Events 

  • The Challenges of Communicating Climate Risk with Prof. Lacy M. Johnson - Sept. 29, 2022 at 3:00 PM CST
  • Dr. Sylvia Dee, Dr. Lizzie Wallace, and Hollie Evans, Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico: Why They Are Stronger and How to Be Ready, Wednesday, September 29, 2021,, Zoom
  • Getting Ready for Extreme Weather: Community Preparedness for Climate Disasters, April 20, 2021, 11 am CST. [recording]
  • Panel Discussion on Fire & Flood: Queer Resilience in the Era of Climate Change, April 1, 2021, 7 pm [recording]
  • Rev. Vernon Walker (Program Manager of Communities Respond to Extreme Weather), "Finding Hope in Extreme Weather," Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 1 PM CST.
  • All We Can Save Book Circle 
  • Justice and Transformation: Houston Women on Climate Action (October 28, 2020) [recording on YouTube]




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