Green Library Movement Article

Check out this fabulous, peer reviewed, and well researched article written by Monika Antonelli (see also her web site: called “The Green Library Movement: An Overview and Beyond” It’s available online for free through the Electronic Green Journal.

The creation of green libraries is approaching a tipping point, generating a Green Library Movement, which is comprised of librarians, libraries, cities, towns, college and university campuses committed to greening libraries and reducing their environmental impact. Constructing a green library building using a performance standard like LEED is a way some libraries are choosing to become green and sustainable. Environmental challenges like energy depletion and climate change will influence the type of information resources and programs libraries will provide to their communities.

Green Journals

Some green journals/bulletins worth mentioning:

AASHE Bulletin –  for campus administrators, faculty, staff, students and professionals interested in campus sustainability;  free weekly e-newsletter on campus sustainability news, resources, opportunities, and events from the U.S. and Canada.

The Declaration –  ULSF’s (University Leaders for a Sustainable Future) biannual report from 1996 to 2005, offers  in-depth articles on  sustainability initiatives in curriculum, research, operations and outreach at higher education institutions around the world.

Electronic Green Journal professional peer-reviewed publication devoted to disseminating information concerning environmental protection, conservation, management of natural resources, and ecologically-balanced regional development. (non-profit, free online)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) for professors, lecturers, staff and students on campus its a fully refereed academic journal for the analysis of environmental and sustainability programs and initiatives at colleges and universities worldwide.

Journal of Education for Sustainable Development –  for academics and practitioners to share and critique innovations in thinking and practice in the emerging field of Education for Sustainable Development with global readership and published twice a year. (peer-reviewed)

Journal of Green Building –  for architects, engineers, and building construction professionals or academics in these areas; contains both industry and research articles (peer reviewed) which span the whole scope of the green building domain of green building topics, applications, techniques, and processes.

Sustainability: The Journal of Record for professionals in academia, industry, policy, and government; provides information and resources to foster collaboration, between sustainability managers, educators, corporate executives, administrators, policy makers, economists, and technology innovators who have the mandate to address and move forward the imperatives of the preservation and sustainability of global resources.

Green Giving at the Holidays

Below are some web sites that offer ideas to be green in more ways than one this holiday season. Some ideas include – using newspapers, old posters, maps, or  blueprints to wrap gifts; or decorating paper bags, creating reusable fabric bags, or giving real cloth bags that the receiver can then reuse at stores. Send e-cards not paper cards.  Lights can be LEDs that are more energy efficient and turn them off as much as you can. Some people suggest making ornaments and gifts out of recycled materials: create a purse from a book, candle lanterns made from old tin cans, beer bottle to make a tree, reusing old cards as gift tags, etc. Check out these sites for more ideas:

Green Library Presentations

Last Friday, ACRL/NY had an all day symposium called the  “The 21st Century Library: Targeting the Trends.” Reading their conference blog two interesting sessions caught my attention on greening libraries. One was a presentation by Monika Antonelli called The Greening of Librariesthis session will examine the emergence of green libraries. The presentation will provide an introduction to green building, a review of existing green library buildings, and a look at green programs offered in libraries. The role librarians can play in creating green communities will also be discussed. Be sure to check out Monika’s blog for lots of good details and resources on the subject.

The other was a poster session by Erin Dorney called Extending a Green Hand: Environmentally Friendly Library Outreach Tips –  Are you concerned with the environmental footprint of your library? Do you cringe when making hundreds of paper copies of handouts? Learn how to implement “green” outreach methods for your institution. By using web tools (including social 2.0 tools like Facebook), creating virtual handouts, utilizing reusable displays, offering environmentally friendly incentives and more, you can experience amazing results: more value and visibility for your library while simultaneously helping the Earth! Trying to be green through her own actions, Erin posted  the handouts on her blog.

View the bibliography from the symposium (in PDF)

Recycling Plastic Gift Cards

Ever thought about what happens to all the plastic gift cards we give and receive over the holidays? You might think twice about getting someone a plastic gift card this year… but first check this out:  A few places around the country are now collecting those old plastic gift cards and volunteers are sending them to Earthworks who sees the plastic is recycled into new cards. Rodd Gilbert ‘s company Earthworks System LLC collects that polyvinyl chloride scrap and has it shredded and pressed into plastic sheets to be resued (a green circular logo identifies cards made with Earthworks plastic).  Schools, local stores, and even some bookstores are now amoung the places collecting these cards... maybe some libraries would consider this idea too?

Environmental Education Grants

Less than two weeks left to apply for the EPA’s Environmental Education Grants.  If you library is considering any sort of environmental education project  “that enhance the public’s awareness, knowledge, and skills to help people make informed decisions that affect environmental quality,” you might think about appying.  Grant amounts generally range from $15,000 to $25,000. Check out past grant recipient projects for ideas. Over 3200 grants have been awarded since 1992 and usually $2-$3 million dollars is available each year. Deadline to apply is December 18,2008.

Green lights for the holidays

Thinking about decorating with lights for the holiday and wondering how environmentally friendly it is? Check out for details. This post discusses using LED lights (light emitting diodes) which are 90% more efficient that regular ones and last 50-60 times longer. Some don’t even have to be plugged by using solar energy or a single battery. Cost about $20 for a strand of 50 lights.