Burbank Public Library’s Burbank Reads Program Returns

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Image Courtesy Burbank Public Library

 Burbank Public Library’s Burbank Reads program returns in October 2021 with readings and activities to spark discussion about climate change and sustainability.

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Burbank Reads is based on the idea that the common ground of the whole community reading the same title will bring people together and provide an opportunity to discuss and debate complex issues, such as the environment. Each year, a committee of Library staff and members of the public identify a theme and select titles. This year’s primary title is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which provides perspectives on nature and environmental justice from an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and professor of environmental biology at the State University of New York.

“Through the shared experience of reading, as well as participating in events, we hope to generate conversation in the community about how to create a more sustainable future,” said Cassandra Stearns, Supervising Librarian for Burbank Public Library. “These issues are complex and can feel hopeless, but through Burbank Reads, our community will be able to move toward action and solutions.”

Books aimed at teens and children have also been selected: How to Change Everything: A Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other by Naomi Klein and We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade.

Through the month of October, community members are invited to check out the books from any Burbank Public Library location or online, join in a book discussion and participate in a variety of activities and special events.

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Programs include:

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  • A discussion on indigenous perspectives on sustainability with Rudy Ortega Jr, Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, in conversation with Jon Christensen of UCLA.
  • Online and in-person options for discussing Braiding Sweetgrass •   
  • A panel of Southern California youth activists
  • Online and in-person options for discussing Braiding Sweetgrass •   
  • Practical programs on LEED construction and reducing food waste
  • Children’s activities including a tour of the Burbank Water & Power Valley Pumping Plant, Un-BEE-lievable Science, and a themed story time in partnership with the Stough Nature Center

All activities are free, although some require advance registration through the Library website, www.burbanklibrary.org. Many events are online; in person events will be managed in accordance with current health guidelines, and all participants will be required to wear face coverings.

“I’d like to express my gratitude for the work of the Burbank Library and the Burbank Reads committee for selecting a topic and reading list that invites and challenges Burbankers of all ages to look at our environmental crisis from new perspectives and a new lens,” said Nikki Perez, vice chair of the Burbank Board of Library Trustees and member of the Burbank Reads planning committee. “This is an exciting opportunity for our community to read, learn, listen, and come together to find creative solutions for environmental justice and sustainability issues right here in our own backyards.”

For a full event listing and more information, visit www.burbanklibrary.org.