Green Libraries and Sustainability: Why does it matter and where do we start?
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001784/00001
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Title: Green Libraries and Sustainability: Why does it matter and where do we start?
Physical Description: Round Table Presentation
Creator: Smith, Bonnie
Abstract: NEFLIN Annual Conference Round Table Presentation - September 2011
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Bonnie Smith.
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00001784:00001


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[1] United Nations General Assembly (1987) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future Transmitted to the General Assembly as an Annex to document A/42/427 Development and International Co operation: Environment. [2] Scott Cato, M. (2009). Green Economics London: Earthscan, pp. 36 37. ISBN 9781844075713 NEFLIN Annual Meeting 2011 Green Libraries and Sustainability Round Table Speaker: Bonnie Smith UF George A. Smathers Libraries bonniesmith@ufl.edu What is Sustainability? The most popular definition of sustainability can be traced to a 1987 UN conference. It defined sustainable development as development that meet s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs "(WECD, 1987) [1] This requires the reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands the "three pillars" of sustainability. A diagram indicating the relationship between the three pillars of sustainability suggesting that both economy and society are const rained by environmental limits. [2 ] How is Sustainability Relevant to Libraries? Libraries are key institutions in community learning efforts. As such they must respond to the needs of the communities they serve. Libraries are information, intellectual and community hubs community being used here as any group sharing common characteristics and perceived as distinct in some respect (to wn, city, county, university special group ). Libraries serve all members of the community regardless of so cioeconomic status, gender, political views, race, religion, or any other differentiating characteristics within the group . Programming, availability exhibits all need to work together to create a dynamic community space. This space must reflect the concerns, needs and realities of the community as well as s park curiosity, questioning and dialog. The great challenges of today are climate change growing social inequality and our shrinking resource base To remain relevant and vital, libraries must respond to these challenges in the way they operate, as well as in the programming and services they offer. Libraries can become hubs of learning to address these challenges by initiating and leading collaborati ve efforts with other groups, units, and organizations within their communities Because of their unique role, their altruistic mission and, public and pedagogical nature, n o organization/unit is better suited to bring communities together in this way.


NEFLIN Annual Meeting 2011 Green Libraries and Sustainability Round Table Speaker: Bonnie Smith UF, George A. Smathers Libraries bonniesmith@ufl.edu page 2 Green Libraries Green focuses on the first step in addressing sustainability issues by reducing our environmental impact. Reducing consumption Reusing Recycling Building ( LEED Certification Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ) Site Water Efficiency Energy & Atmosphere Materials and Resources Indoor Environmental Quality Why? Pu blic bodies have a duty to lead Libraries are key institution s in community learning efforts R ight thing to do in response to our shrinking renewable resources Creates a healthier space for everyone An urgent need where we can teach by example Some Examples: Public Awareness, Education & Collections Design posters to pr omote recycling in the library and at home Purchase and showcase materials on s ustainability topics Include environmental links on your website Start an Energy Meter lending program http://www.myclearwater.com/cpl/includes/pdf/energymetersavailable.pdf Offer workshops that deal with environmental topics tips gardening and composting for your home Start a nature club at your library http://www.awarewhistler.org/?page_id=12 Start a book club on environmental topics inviting staff, students, faculty and community members Buildings Energy Conservation Light activated switches Public computers automatically shut down at closing Use power strips and turn off equipment when not in use Movement activated lights Energy e fficient light bulbs Water Conservation Low flow toilets Minimal landscape watering use native plants Put aerators on faucets Construction Follow LEED certification guidelines


NEFLIN Annual Meeting 2011 Green Libraries and Sustainability Round Table Speaker: Bonnie Smith UF, George A. Smathers Libraries bonniesmith@ufl.edu page 3 Operations Office Supplies and Printing Think before you Ink Programmed double sided printing Paper with a high post consumer content Dispose of old equipment in a safe manner Cleaning & Chemical Products Use environmentally friendly cleaning products people notice Use a p est control company that only utilizes safe products Events, Meetings and Workshops Use local produce or sustainability minded caterers Use paper or cloth tablecloths (never plastic) Use glass or ceramic platters Never use Styrofoam Use paper cups, plates, bowls, preferably compostable (not plastic) Use c hina or compostable utens ils, or only offer finger foods Disposing of unwanted books Create a sustainable process for disposing of unwanted books Green Libraries and Sustainability Greening your library is only the beginning of engaging in sustainability. Economic and Civic engagement are also integral to the role of libraries in creating sustainable communities and educating for sustainability. Creating resilience in our communities resilience to climate change, to political shifts to economic downturns Why? C ommunities need sustainability leadership Libraries provide independent thinking and are available to everyone These are the most pressing issues our communities face Libraries are experts at finding resources and information Li braries are in a unique place to create collaborations across campus and in communities Some examples: Public Awareness, Education & Collections Start a seed lending library http://www.sfseedlibrary.org/home Start a tool lending library http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/branches/temtll.htm Start a book club on sustainable topics inviting staff, students, faculty and community members http://www.cityofpensacola.com/libra ry/page.asp?pid=18841 P rovide services to the homeless http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010 12 13 libraries13_ST_N.htm


NEFLIN Annual Meeting 2011 Green Libraries and Sustainability Round Table Speaker: Bonnie Smith UF, George A. Smathers Libraries bonniesmith@ufl.edu page 4 Show movies on current issues followed by a discussion Build collections on tolerance, equity and the history of all local populations sustainable business practices, sustainable agriculture, sustainable development, smart growth, environmental justice Develop displays existing materials that high light the 3 pillars of sustainability For universities and colleges become involved in sustainability curriculum development Partnerships Create innovative partnerships to develop resilience in our communities both physical (gardening/composting; reading; bike repair) and learned (understanding climate change; economic development; agriculture; health; education) Assist people in connecting with sustainability related services in the community Showcase local sustainable businesses and events Host programs that spotlight community equity issues, such as trainings to address racism, bullying, pay equity, hunger For universities and colleges create partnerships with other colleges, the office of sustainability, For universities and colleges work with student government and student groups to support their efforts and collaborate on sustainability efforts For universities and colleges collabor ate with faculty and student groups to host exhibits on sustainability topics in support of sustainability curriculum Buildings Provide outdoor space as part of the library Offer facilities for groups that are addressing local equity issues Provide public telephones Create group study spaces for collaborative efforts How to get started Form a green team or sustainability team (employees, maintenance/housekeeping, board members, Adopt a vision statement Get the word out newsletter, bulletin boards, staff meetings Set some initial goals Identify environmental improvement or sustainability opportunities /projects Implement projects start with low hanging fruit first then grow your efforts Track your progress Celebrate and publicize your successes Sample vision statement The green team is committed to promoting an awareness of environmental and sustainability issues amongst staff and patrons. Projects will focus on both green efforts and civic engage ment. The green team will solicit input from board members, patrons, community members, and staff. We welcome any suggestions that would help us to make the Library a greener and more sustainable place for all