FREE Webinar: Become a Carbon Zero Hero

Free Webinar: Become a Carbon Zero Hero: Vanquish the Phantom Load Villain
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:00 – 3:30 PM EDT

Discussion on how to vanquish the phantom-load villains  that lurk in every location; summarize power-management strategies for reducing phantom-loads based on comprehensive on-site audits of more than 15 college campuses; analyze specific phantom-load usage by key higher education constituents and programs, such as staff, faculty, dormitories, and computer labs and libraries; feature examples of student-led energy conservation campaigns, including the University at Buffalo’s creative and successful “Do It In the Dark” campaign.

C&RL preprint on sustainable academic libraries

Accepted for publication, by College and Research Libraries, to be published probably March 2010, by  Maria A. Jankowska & James Marcum entitled “Sustainability Challenge for Academic Libraries: Planning for the Future College and Research Libraries.” Read the pre-print now (PDF). Stay tuned for the publication next spring. More C&RL pre-prints.  Abstract:

There is growing concern that a variety of factors threaten the sustainability of academic libraries: developing and preserving print and digital collections, supplying and supporting rapidly changing technological and networking infrastructure, providing free services, maintaining growing costs of library buildings and lowering libraries‘ ecological footprint. This paper discusses the multi-dimensional issues of sustainability in academic libraries and identifies needs for designing an integrated framework for sustainable strategies in academic libraries. Additionally, the paper presents a synthesis of existing literature on the increasingly popular topic of ‘green libraries’ and prepares a background towards developing a framework for sustainable strategies in academic libraries.

Call for Submission: Greening Libraries

From Library Juice Press:

Greening Libraries, edited by Monika Antonelli and Mark McCullough and published by Library Juice Press, is a collection of essays, papers and articles on various aspects of the green library movement. The editors are seeking articles from a variety of perspectives on a wide range of topics related to green practices, sustainability and the library profession. Greening Libraries will offer an overview of important aspects of the growing green library movement, including, but not limited to, green buildings, alternative energy resources, conservation, green library services and practices, operations, programming, and outreach.

Deadline for Summaries: October 1, 2009 – Submit a brief summary of your proposed article (250 words or less) to Monika Antonelli or Mark McCullough

Urban Rooftop Gardening

Rooftop gardens offer energy savings by providing better insulation, reducing heat affect on building, and cutting back on storm water runoff. But they also offer educational space  (for school kids growing their veggies for school cafeteria to social service projects teaching people how to garden and cook), personal gardening, community gathering (shared rooftop gardens for an apartment building), and healthy living in a city. Rooftop gardens also offer longer growing season and less pests. Many cities and/or states  –  Chicago, San Francisco, and New York State, etc – are encouraging rooftop gardens and offering tax incentives.  Read this NYT article (6/16/09) for more information and check with your state to see if you can get a tax break or other incentive to start a green roof on your library.

Greening of ALA

Go green at ALA and eliminate handouts!  Presenters are being asked to post (or link) to materials to the conference wiki before they attend so attendees can immediately access them. The wiki was started last year but mostly, after the fact, materials were added. The wiki is organized by day and time, contains midwinter and last year’s conference materials, and poster sessions. What a great way to cut back on wasted paper and allow those not in attendance at ALA to access materials. Read ALA Marginalia Blog post for more details.

Paper or Plastic … or reusable

Do you give out bags with checked out items at the library? Plastic? Paper? Reusable with the library logo?  A recent article in the WSJ takes a look at the factors of all types of bags and provides some good data and explanations of paper vs plastic debate. here is the chart from the article that simplifies the concepts:


(a personal comment on resuable bags and forgetting them:  its just about making it a  habit, like remembering your wallet.  keeping one of the many bags we get free at library conferences in your car OR get a small one (like these!) to keep in your backpack or purse would make it easy too remember!)

Stop the Junk mail

Want to eliminate unwanted junk mail from the over $40 billion industry? Try some of these options:

  • Catalog Choice – Register, free, easy to use, to  opt-out of catalogs’ mailing lists. I have been using for years and it works well with some catalogs – other companies disregard it.
  • ProQuo – Register, free opt out of several direct mail lists such as coupons, weekly circulars,  marketing lists and data brokers. They say they dont solicit your name but will allow you to “opt-in” to services for their advertisers.
  • GreenDimes – Pay for service (about $20/year)  but  guarantees to stop up to 90% of your junk mail; automatically takes your name from 5 of the largest mailers, allows you to choose others, and sends you pre-addressed, stamped postcards to send to others directly.
  • – Non-profit that covers your entire household for 5 years for about $41 but they donate 1/3 of the fee to environmental orgs. They claims to stop 80-95% of unwanted catalogs and junk mail.
  • – For $19.95 a year, they “Protect your Privacy and Stop Postal Junk Mail” all fully automated, covering catalogs, magazines, book clubs, non-profit mail for a whole household or small business. They also plant a tree for every new subscription.


Not only should we cut back on paper use in printing but ever thought about cutting back on ink? Try downloading this  free eco friendly font –  Ecofont –  developed by SPRANQ (from Utrecht, The Netherlands). The idea was how to create a font using less ink and how to much of a letter can be removed with it still being readable.  This font has empty circles in its letters and uses 20% less ink.  For normal 12pt printing it looks a little grayish but very readable; trying blowing it up and printing and you can see the circles in the letter but still readable! And thus the name spranq  “After Dutch holey cheese, there now is a Dutch font with holes as well.”

Bring more natural daylight to your library

Douglas County (CO) Public Library has installed a Sundolier device – donated by Sunflower Corporation.  What it does: device on the roof tracks the sun as it moves across the sky with two gears: one for azimuth and one for elevation thus works in summer and winter as sun angle changes. It focuses 4x the sun’s light into one point in the building which is then distributed  through the building lighting up about 1500 sq foot of space using only the same amount roof penetration that a regular skylight would use.  It saves money and creates healthier, happier, and a more productive environment with the use of natural sunlight. It’s totally self contained, no electrical connection, and uses photovoltaic power. Watch this video or visit the green section of their Web site for more information.