Climate Change Considerations in Public Library Collection Development


  • Maia Trotter University of Alberta
  • Olesya Komarnytska



climate change, collections, public libraries, library and information studies


Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our continued existence. While resources and research about climate change are readily available, what do public libraries need to be doing, as one of the last free public spaces, to bridge the gap between complex information and community action? This extended abstract, based on a larger research paper, explores the various ways public libraries can be active members of their communities and promote conversations about climate change with the specific actions of their collection development. Through an in-depth literature search, several challenges are identified that act as barriers to creating cohesive, inclusive, and informative climate change-oriented collections. These barriers include eco-anxiety, particularly among children and young adults, environmental literacy, and climate change denial materials. Considering these challenges, recommendations are provided to overcome these obstacles. As the need for understanding and action becomes more dire, library policies and collection development strategies need to reflect those needs.

Author Biographies

Maia Trotter, University of Alberta

Maia Trotter (she/her) lives, works, and learns on Treaty 6 territory, the traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people. Maia is a Master of Library and Information Studies student at the University of Alberta. She received her undergraduate degree in English Honours from Simon Fraser University. Her primary research interests include community-driven metadata and applied practices of climate change activism in public libraries. Maia is currently a member of LISSA, Shout! For Libraries, and works for SpokenWeb UAlberta.

Olesya Komarnytska

Olesya Komarnytska (she/her) lives, studies, and works on Treaty 6 territory. Currently in her final semester of the MLIS program at the University of Alberta, she also holds a BA in Art History/Sociology and a Diploma in Theatre Production. Olesya works at the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives and the University Libraries. Her professional interests are in cultural memory and heritage preservation, especially how these can be inclusively achieved in community-led and based ways.




How to Cite

Trotter, M., & Komarnytska , O. (2023). Climate Change Considerations in Public Library Collection Development. Pathfinder: A Canadian Journal for Information Science Students and Early Career Professionals, 4(1), 209–215.



FIP Extended Abstracts