Charney publishes on shifting paradigms of academic librarians

Wonderful read by Madeleine Charney who just published her research study in the Collaborative Librarianship ejournal called “Academic Librarians and the Sustainability Curriculum:Building Alliances to Support a Paradigm Shift”  This article discusses her survey of sustainability LibGuides and follow up interviews with some of these librarians. She finds a wide range of professional work in sustainability by librarians but also the need for librarians to collaborate and learn from others in areas beyond libraries.  Also noted is that library administration needs to realize the importance of having a librarian with sustainability responsibilities.  Don’t miss the list of best practices found at the end of the article. One  of the outcomes of this study was the creation of an ALA roundtable focused on sustainability called  SustainRT!

The White Paper – corporate social responsibility & sustainability

Free online resource:  The White Paper which is a Generation Alliance consulting firm offering perspectives on business and branding. This month they feature an issue of a collection of stories and narratives related to corporate social responsibility, citizenship and sustainability. The Sustain Group Pty Ltd and the United Nations Global Compact Network in Australia worked with Generation Alliance for this issue’s stories. The issues offers  stories such as  Green Washing, Rethinking Global Goals, Corporate Social Responsibility, and on sustainable development.  This issue of the White Paper  might be work adding/linking to in your library. 

Article: recycling old buildings into libraries

ifla_journal_imageThis IFLA Journal (from Sage Journals) article called The second hand library building: Sustainable thinking through recycling old buildings into new libraries, written by Petra Hauke and Klaus Ulrich Wener (Of Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany) discusses the debatable topic of tearing down old buildings to build “green” or transforming existing buildings – perhaps not libraries – into sustainable library buildings.  Recycling older buildings can be challenging  but reduces the ecological footprint!  The article discusses some best practices and case studies gleaned  from Germany and other European counties. The article includes some photos of interesting redesign too.

It also covers the important aspect of educating LIS student’s in sustainable building design  “so that the new generation of librarians will adopt the ideas and goals of sustainability in library buildings through recycling old buildings for excellent library use.” [page 64] The Berlin School for Library and Information Science has a  seminar course called “Turning a book from idea to realization” where the students pick a topic in LIS, solicit authors, peer review the articles, and get them ready to print by an open access publisher! They have now published a few books on library buildings including “Secondhand but excellent! The Reuse of old buildings for library use” [find in German on Amazon | open access online in German]

Read the article to find out more! and what a great idea  - wonder if other library schools are offering this real world experience for their students!

Inhabitat’s 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards

inhabitatInhabitat readers have been voting on their favorite stories of 2012! Check out the winners in a slideshow here or view each by category   So many good stories it’s hard to pick MY favorite:

Non Toxic Gifts

Check out these great sources to make your holiday gift giving less toxic!

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The Non-toxic shopping is a great aggregator of information on the topic and includes links to database on toy testing,   an article on finding responsible clothing companies, searchable information on fragrances toxicities, links  to site on non-toxic art supplies, and offers  help for finding green products made in the USA


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Check out US PIRG’s toxic toys list – download the PDF on Toy Safety or view on your mobile device; and a link   to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s  searchable database on safe products.


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Before buying anyone cosmetics check out the real ingredients from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.


lft-top-logoOther tips for toxic-free gift giving from ToxicFreeNC!

  • Look for safer materials to start with—items made from wood, cotton, wool, metal, glass, etc. will contain fewer toxic chemicals. However, remember that products labeled as “natural” or “non-toxic” aren’t necessarily so, because those labels don’t refer to any specific standards.
  • Silicone is not necessarily safe, especially not in the oven, or in kids’ mouths. It often contains siliconates, which have been identified as cancer-causing chemicals. Instead, look for toys made from wood or latex, and kitchen gear made from stainless steel, ceramic or tempered glass.
  • When looking for rubber duckies and other soft toys for young children, try to find natural rubber or latex. (PVC and vinyl are highly toxic.) You can sometimes identify PVC/vinyl products by looking for the recycling #3 label.
  • Skip “junk jewelry” for older kids, which can include heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and sensitizers that can cause allergic reactions. If you purchase jewelry, look for products made of real silver or gold–it’s a bit pricier, but it’s safer will last longer and can be passed down through your family’s generations.
  • Indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality due to the cleaning products, pesticides and fragrances folks often use at home, chemical off-gassing from furnishings and of course, mold, dander and dust. Give gifts that encourage your loved ones to spend more time outdoors.
  • Know your body products. If you will be purchasing perfumes or other personal care products, check out the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It’s a great, easy-to-use website that helps you learn about what’s in the products you’re using AND find safer replacement products. Cosmetics aren’t well regulated, but preliminary testing has revealed heavy metals in make-up and endocrine-disrupting phthalates (often listed as “fragrance”) in make-up, bodywash, shampoo, cologne, body spray and a host of other products.

Save Ink

Cutting back on printing is key, but using various fonts can save ink.

2010 study at University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, showed they saved $10,000 by switching  all default printing to Century Gothic (this blog post is set in this font face).  They say it uses 30% less than Arial.

This article explains others fonts to use to save ink mentioning a study by  Matt Robinson to determine ink usage of various typefonts. His study shows Garamond followed by Courier are the most economic.

The ecofont (the one with hole!) is even better and you can download the Ecofont Vera Sans regular for free if you register.

Embedding your Green Message article

Self promoting  I know, but I do  hope readers find both this article and this peer-reviewed, open access scholarly journal useful! My article Embedding your Green Message Through Asynchronous Learning was recently published in the Electronic Green Journal.   This article summarizes a presentation I gave for the Amigos Library Services Going Green 2 online conference in November 2010.  It discusses the idea of embedding green messages within your work, tasks, programs, tools, and teaching will passively or subtly inform others without being forceful. I discuss the large ten module research tutorial  (Path) a team of us here at UNCG created covering concepts from forming a topic to citing sources, in which we embedded the theme of recycling, hoping  users would become more environmentally literate while learning researching skills. The Electronic Green Journal has been published since 1994, semiannually by UCLA Library – think about submitting something to this journal yourself and share your knowledge and work!