A New Green Library Blog Launched

Check out the new blog that just launched on Oct 22, 2008 called  The Green Library. Here is the focus:  The Green Library blog is devoted to documenting significant activities, events, literature, and projects that focus on ” … increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal” of and by libraries.”

This blog also has a facebook group.

IBM Going Green

You probably have seen the TV ads from IBM about their green initiatives and you can learn more by checking out their Web site. They state that they are working on making existing and new services, products, and practices more efficient for both business and having a lesser environmental impact through being environmental leaders in business. They offer news and information about what they are doing especially in the Big Green Innovations area, as well as, ideas for energy efficient IT for all sizes and types of business and strategies for “greener” solutions. You can select on the drop down menu on the right side of this page, the industry ecosystem (for libraries probably government) and get a portal of information related to that industry.  Worth perusing their site if you are interested in what IBM is doing to be more “green.”

Green Marketing Through Your Library’s Web Site

Check out Lake County Library System’s Green Web page for ideas on how to market your green resources for your library.  The site highlights cover images of green books by various genres the library owns and mentions their green library tote bags for sale.

Chicago Public Library has a page called “Resources for learning about the environment” highlighting a recommended book, listings of local green related events,  links to relevant databases, featured searches, and helpful Web sites.

The Rosemary Garfoot Public Library actually posts their real time energy reports online for the public to view by date.

The Canton Public Library has Green Pages with links and local information on recycling, buying green, how to save money and energy, and more. They spotlight some ideas (such as what their library “green team” is doing) and mention local green events as well.

…and I’m sure there are many more libraries with this type of marketing; please comment if you know of one that I haven’t listed here!

US Book Industry Report Summary

Last March the  The Green Press Initiative (GPI) and The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) produced a 86 page report called ‘Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry. (order it here) Their summary by can be found as a .pdf here.

Eco Libris also produced a great summary of the report with a few key findings:

  • What’s responsible for the biggest part of the book industry’s carbon footprint? First –  forest and forest harvest impacts: 62.7%;  Second – paper production at the mills: 22.4% share. Conclusion – the paper consumed for the production of books is main responsible for the industry’s carbon footprint (12.4 million metric tons or 8.85 lbs. of carbon dioxide per a book, 2006 stats)
  • The sources of paper and Endangered Forests: the sources of paper come from all over the world; several places are endangered forests with too little being done to protect these natural resources from the exploitation of industries and result in tree farms with little biodiversity, fundamental changes and losses in natural systems, severe impact on species, etc.
  • Some increase in the use of post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper: About 5% of recycled paper is used in books, with some companies reporting they use much higher percentage now, some up to 13% recycled paper. (data from 2006)
  • More policies, but not enough quantitative targets: 60% report they have developed environmental policies but these policies lack much in the way of quantitative targets.
  • Certified paper use: There is an increase in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper for books but not true data yet available.

Eco Libris also notes some important missing information that could have been useful in the report:

  • there is no mention of e-book industry
  • what about a comparison to European book industry
  • what are the main reasons that stop publishers and other companies to go green

Green E-Resources

World Database on Protected Areas

Dataset for GIS work, conservation decision making, ecological gap analysis, environmental impact analysis and  includes national governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, international biodiversity convention secretariats, etc and many others.

Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool

A tool to access accurate and up-to-date biodiversity information to support critical business decisions founded through a partnership among BirdLife International, Conservation International and United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre

ECOTOX Database

Database that provides chemical toxicity information for aquatic and terrestrial life maintained by the U.S.EPA, Office of Research and Development (ORD) , and the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory’s (NHEERL’s) Mid-Continent Ecology Division (MED).

FREE Greening Libraries Conference 10/31 in Bronx

Greening Libraries ==> Greener Communities

Co-Sponsored by:
Library Association of the City University of New York & The New York Public Library

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bronx Library Center
310 East Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY 10458

9:00 A.M. to 4:15 P.M.

Featuring Keynote Speaker:

Majora Carter, Founder, Sustainable South Bronx

A MacArthur Genius Fellow, one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Most Influential African-Americans in 2007, one of the NY Post’s Most Influential NYC Women for the past two years, and a board member of the Wilderness Society

Also participating:

  • Raz Godelnik,  Eco-Libris
  • Shannon Binns, Green Press Initiative
  • Andrew Van Der Laan, Director, Senior Project Manager Publishing Operations, Projects Group, Random House, Inc.
  • Daniel Heuberger AIA, Dattner Architects
  • Jim Lloyd, Assistant Vice President of Campus Operations, Baruch College
  • John Denham, DenhamWolf Ines Sucre, Reference Librarian, Foundation Center

Afternoon Keynote:
Fred Stoss, Associate Librarian, University at Buffalo, SUNY

Stoss will discuss: “Global Warming ICE: Information Communication, Education.” He is one of the “1,000 Climate Messengers” trained by Al Gore and The Climate Project.

Topics to be covered include: Greening Books, Greening Buildings, Greening Funds &Greening Gadgets

The event is FREE.  A green box lunch is available for a nominal charge.

For more information, please visit the conference website

ecoBrain: green books for green living

Have you checked out ecoBrain? The company was started by two families both in the publishing arenas, living in the US and Canada, passionate about the environment and living more green.  They offer eBooks and mp3 audio books about the environment and environmentally-friendly living. Not only do they offer electronic books but in doing so they allow new publishers to produce material much more quickly, cheaply, and profitably.  They allow employees to work from home and purchase carbon offsets for their business operations. ecoBrain hopes to grow their online community to be the largest provider of educational resources for eco-friendly living.

All content on EcoBrain is in downloadable, digital format, so you can buy green with zero use of forest-pulping paper and only a minimal amount of expended energy.

Sustainability is a campus buzzword

The Kept-Up Academic Librarian notes in a recent blog post that going green can improve more than just a carbon footprint; it’s seen as fundamental and an incentive to students, parents, and even potential donors. The post refers to an article called Planet Earth 101 (from boston.com) that mentions sustainable initiatives and programs on various college campuses.  More and more of these initiatives, endowments, institutes, degree programs, and campus pledges to be sustainable are occurring on college campuses (many of them student driven) creating competition amongst these institutions. Students are starting to demand more green credibility from colleges and this will continue to increase as environmental issues become more mainstream.

Don’t get left behind in the library – promote your sustainable practices, such as access to electronic resources (less paper), online tutorials (learn from wherever you are), chat services(ask for help without driving to the library), etc.

Can you telecommute?

For employers or employees, here is an article with some ideas to help you think through the process and decided how to make telecommuting work for everyone.  The article lists some simple sections on How to Stay Connected while working at home, Creating Reasons for Why this should be allowed, and A Trial Run of starting small (one day a month) to test the idea.

In general, it saves the employee money on gas, thus being more environmentally friendly, and will allow the employee to be more productive by eliminating the the social aspects and distractions of an office environment. Other suggestions for why can be found on this old post.

Recent articles on the topic:

  • Duncan, J. (2008). “Working from Afar: A New Trend in Librarianship.” College and Research Libraries News 69(4): 216-18, 236.
  • Gajendran, R. S., & Harrison, D. A. (2007). “The good, the bad, and the unknown about telecommuting: Meta-analysis of psychological mediators and individual consequences.” Journal of Applied Psychology 92(6): 1524-1541.
  • Gajendran, R. S., Harrison, D. A., Facer, R. L., & Wadsworth, L. (2008). “Alternative Work Schedules and Work-Family Balance: A Research Note.”  Review of public personnel administration 28(2): 166-177.
  • Nelson, P., Safirova, E., & Walls, M. (2007). “Telecommuting and environmental policy: Lessons from the ecommute program. ” Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 12(3): 195-207.
  • Oppenheim, R. (2008).  On the Road Again: Gear for a Mobile World. Searcher, 16(3), 20-3, 60-2.
  • Oppenheim, R. (2008).   An Office in Every Home? Searcher, 16(5): 30-3, 62-3.
  • Peterson, S. (2007). “This eWEEK: Tech advancements have improved telecommuting.” EWEEK 24 (6): 5 -7.
  • Rash, W. (2007). “Government Slow to Adopt.” EWEEK , 24 (3): 14.

If you do try working from home, join the new telecommuting librarians list; details found on this Beyond the Job blog post.