Document Type

Poster Session

Publication Title

2016 ACRL/NEC Annual Conference- Holistic Librarianship: Broad Thinking for Diverse and Creative Solutions

Publication Date


Publisher location

Manchester, NH

Abstract/ Summary

How can libraries support sustainability, wellness, and social justice? Concern for health and the environment has increased interest in sustainable agriculture and the local foods movement. McQuade Library at Merrimack College became a distributor of local foods by partnering with a community supported agriculture (CSA) operation to provide fresh foods to the college and surrounding community. CSAs are a way to directly support local agriculture with sustainable growing practices. Joining a CSA is entering into a relationship with a farm and farmer whereby members are directly supporting the farm by purchasing a farm share. In exchange for providing monetary or labor support up front and/or during the growing season, farm members are provided with a share of the crops harvested.

McQuade Library partnered with Farmer Dave’s CSA, a farm just eleven miles from the college. Farmer Dave’s utilizes sustainable growing practices and was willing to drop off the food at the library once a week for twenty weeks if we could recruit fifty members. Through our promotional efforts, we surpassed the number of shares needed to form the partnership. Weekly pick-ups commenced with two library staff volunteering as the distribution managers. As some shares of food were not picked up each week, the volunteers were able to distribute a considerable amount of local, fresh food to a nearby food pantry and senior center in the summer months. Once our semester began, students from Merrimack’s Campus Kitchens Project (a hunger-relief effort supported by the Sodexo Foundation) collected the food each week to make meals they delivered to an emergency shelter. This poster describes our process and best practices along with our positive results in faculty and community outreach.