Re-Localizing the Library

Considerations for the Anthropocene


  • Amy Brunvand University of Utah



The preservation mission of libraries means that all librarians are futurists. When librarians curate collections, we have to make guesses, and those guesses tell a story about what we value and what we hope for. A dominant story about the Anthropocene is about a globalized, technological future in which libraries and librarians will become obsolete. An alternative, more human story is suggested by place-based scholarship regarding the relationship between human beings and the places we live. A place-based library is more than simply a portal or container for information; the library itself becomes part of a story about place and an active participant in cultural sustainability. Libraries exist as local nodes within a global information network, each with unique community concerns that should be reflected in collections and services.

Pre-print first published online 08/31/2019

Author Biography

Amy Brunvand, University of Utah

Amy Brunvand is an Associate Librarian at the University of Utah, currently embedded in the Sustainability Office in order to work on projects to foster campus-wide sustainability.  She writes about environmental issues for Catalyst Magazine, a non-profit community monthly with a geographic focus on Utah’s Wasatch Front.