Skip Navigation
Back to Navigation

Resilient and Responsible Communities

← Back

Resilient and Responsible Communities

Prince William Public Libraries

Health & Wellness | 2021 | Top Innovator

Innovation Synopsis

Prince William Public Libraries took a leap in its efforts to engage our community in programs and conversations that address the climate crisis. Two of our libraries are now Climate Resilience Hubs, we offer environment-related programs and activities for all ages, and we are building an outdoor library space for hands-on environmental education.


Prince William Public Libraries believes in the importance of public libraries in raising awareness about current issues such as climate change and sustainability. We knew we could do more, and we set out to engage the community on these critical issues. We launched programs that would be interactive, engaging, and enjoyable, and consequently, enhance learning experiences and help community members become environmental stewards.

Key Elements of Innovation

PWPL offers community conversations and film screenings on environmental issues, and two of our libraries are designated Climate Resilience Hubs providing public education and support during extreme weather events. We built pollinator gardens and composters at five of our libraries and offer topic-related programs. We teach children about our regional water supply, and we are building a first-of-its-kind outdoor library space for interpretive environmental education with installations such as windmill and solar lights.

Achieved Outcomes

PWPL aims to raise awareness about sustainability and encourage and inspire people to be environmental stewards. Our efforts are supported by several grantors including ALA, Microsoft ChangeX, Dominion Energy, and Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. We collaborate with the local water company, a conservation organization, and Service Authority.The community response has been strong and positive. More results are yet to be seen since these initiatives are new and were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.