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In recent years, librarians have become more interested in making their buildings more environmentally friendly. But buildings are only the tip of the iceberg. Libraries are trusted information sources for their communities. This puts them in an excellent position to become community leaders and models of environmental responsibility.
This section of the Green Libraries LibGuide focuses on sustainability resources specifically designed for libraries.
Web Sites and Articles
A Greener Library, A Greener You
Full citation: Urbanska, Wanda. 2009. “A Greener Library, A Greener You.” American Libraries 40,(4): 52-5.
Gives a good overview of things that libraries are doing to go green, from green building to eco-activism.
ALA Sustainability Round Table
SustainRT was created as a venue in which members exchange ideas and opportunities regarding sustainability in order to move toward a more equitable, healthy and economically viable society. The mission of the organization is to provide resources for the library community to support sustainability through curriculum development; collections; exhibits; events; advocacy, communication, library buildings and space design.
American Library Association Sustainability and Libraries LibGuide
Includes links to ALA sustainability resources as well as a brief list of books and online materials related to sustainable libraries.
Barnes, Laura L. (2012). "Green Buildings as Sustainability Education Tools." Library Hi Tech 30(3), 397-407.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of green building technologies and practices and illustrate how public libraries can use them as tools to teach their communities about sustainability and foster behavior change. Design/methodology/approach – Through literature searches, case studies analysis, and individual phone and e-mail interviews, the author identified ways that public libraries can use their buildings to demonstrate green technologies and practices and show their patrons how to apply them at home, at work, and in the community. Findings – Education is a component of LEED certification. Many LEED certified libraries publicize a list of the green technologies used in their building projects. Some sponsor programs related to the green building and include permanent displays in the library to explain how the technology works. The Fayetteville Public Library went beyond these basic techniques to not only improve the sustainability of their operations
Becoming green and sustainable: a Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library case study
Full citation: LeBer, Jeanne Marie; Gregory, Joan M. (2004). "Becoming green and sustainable: a Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library case study." Journal of the Medical Library Association 92(2), 266-268.
Electronic Green Journal
EGJ is a peer-reviewed digital journal providing open access to scholarly, international environmental information since 1994. It is published semiannually by the UCLA Library. An excellent source of reviews of sustainability resources.
Global Warming and Us: Assessing Our Environmental and Professional Responsibility
Full citation: Harger, Elaine. 2008. "Global Warming and Us: Assessing Our Environmental and Professional Responsibility." American Libraries 39,(4): 35. An essay contemplating the author's individual carbon footprint, along with some suggestions for things librarians can do to encourage their patrons to consider their individual impacts.
Global Warming's Library Challenge
Full citation: Meyer, Jennifer. 2008. "Global Warming's Library Challenge," Library Journal, 133,(18): 26-9. Discusses the impact of climate change on the environment, how it affects libraries, and what librarians can do about it. Includes an extensive resource list and bibliography.
Going Green @your library
Blog by Beth Filar Williams covering environmentally friendly practices for libraries and beyond.
Going Green: The Un-Handout and Handout Alternatives
Post discusses reasons for not providing printed handouts at presentations and offers alternatives to keep people's minds engaged.
A compilation of resources from the American Library Association.
Links to papers and presentations on green libraries by Illinois Sustainable Technology Center librarian liaison Laura L. Barnes
Green Partnerships Produce Green Rewards
This article offers information on initiatives taken by the Paul Meek Library, University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) for environmental protection and presents photographs on the same. The library supported the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on the UTM campus by hosting the Earth Fest Art Contest which was held from April 19-24, 2010. It mentions that UTM has placed several recycling bins at various locations in its campus.
Green Up Your Library: Ideas for Creating a More Environmentally Friendly Library
Resources and handouts for the Green Up Your Library pre-conference, presented at the 2009 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference. Topics include sustainable building, programming, green IT, sustainability planning, and green purchasing.
Greening Chicago Libraries: A Case Study of Wilmette Public Library
The Wilmette Pubic Library (WPL) has been steadily increasing its green quotient over the past several years. Most recently, the Board of Trustees directed the library to consider environmentally friendly alternatives during building projects and included developing green building and grounds in the library's long range plan. Efforts to green the library can be categorized as facilities, operations, and public awareness. On page 3 of the PDF.
Greening ILL Practices: Data’s, Do’s and Don’t’s
Presentation by Dennis Massie to the OCLC Resource Sharing Users Group.
Growing Greener Libraries
Illinois Libraries are striving to create more environmentally friendly and sustainable communities. This site, part of the WebJunction Illinois community, offers green resources, programming ideas, and tips and tricks for Growing Greener Libraries.
Let "Green" Creep: Ten Steps to Sustainable Library Operations
Ten steps toward achieving sustainable library operations, drawn from the experiences of Fayetteville Public Library in Arkansas.
Libraries Can Be Green
Essay with tips for librarians who are starting to think about ways to make their operations more environmentally friendly.
Oregon Library Association Quarterly, Winter 2007 issue
Entire issue is devoted to sustainability in libraries. Individual articles cited elsewhere in this guide.
Our Voices, Green Choices
Our Voices, Green Choices is a blog highlighting green projects and programs happening at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library as well as providing news about all kinds of "green living" topics both locally and beyond.
Partners for the Future: Public Libraries and Local Governments Creating Sustainable Communities
This report demonstrates how public libraries help local governments achieve sustainability goals in each of the three triple bottom line components and is intended to both celebrate successes to date and provide a roadmap for partnerships that are built to last.
Sustainability Librarians (LinkedIn Group)
LinkedIn group for librarians interested in sustainability.
Use calculators to help you determine your library's environmental impact and translate those results into more meaningful numbers for your patrons.