How Green is My Library? book

I have to promote a wonderful new book that was recently published called How Green is My Library? by Ned Himmel and Sam McBane Mulford (info) published by Libraries Unlimited. The book covers both design of green buildings and how to make your library green using green initiatives and green goals for such things as alternative transportation, recycling, etc. It offers checklists, guides, and tools for evaluating the greenness of existing or planned facilities and operations and many potential solutions for implementation of these ideas. Written for the novice through advanced,  it’s worth the purchase for any library. (I’ll admit I may be slightly biased as they used some of my blog post ideas in their book  -thanks Ned & Sam! 🙂

Also listen to the authors speak about their book at a FREE online webinar on Feb 11 at 2pm (eastern) through OPAL.

Greening ILL Practices

Coming soon will be the results of a 3 month study commissioned by OCLC Research called  “Greening ILL Practices”  with the goal of determining affordable best practices.  Environmental consultants were hired to analyze several libraries’ ILL processes and the carbon footprint impact. Some key green suggestions: reuse packing materials when sending shipments (using new materials is the cause to half the greenhouse gas emission per package);  Use paper with at least 30% recycled content (which usually costs the same and works in copiers and printers);  and other expected results like borrowing/lending nearby and digital is better than print. Dennis Massie has posted preliminary findings at – a blog by staff of OCLC Research – make sure you check out the slides of data(PDF) and results and stay tuned for more details.  Check out the presentation from ALA Midwinter (PDF).

2010 America’s Greenest School Contest

Tell your students to submit an entry to the 2010 American’s Greenest School Contest.  The entry can be in the form of a photo collection, music, a video, an essay, or photos of a diorama, collage or piece of artwork explaining what you’d do if you were in charge of making your school a greener, more eco-friendly place.  All K-12 students in public or private school can apply.  You can win the clean, green IC Bus™ Hybrid Bus, LEED Certified Audit and Green Makeover for your school,  free concert by The Maine, the official band of America’s Greenest School, $3,000 scholarship for the winning student and/or classroom, $500 in class supplies for the winning teacher/sponsor.  They will choose top 10 finalist and then everyone, all of america can vote on the winner.  March 8th is deadline.


The American College & University President’s Climate Commitment has over 600 signatures now. Is your institution one of them?  By joining the ACUPCC institutions commit to work toward climate neutrality through education, leadership and modeling of sustainable behavior. They agree to:

  • Complete an emissions inventory.
  • Within two years, set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral.
  • Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions.
  • Integrate sustainability into the curriculum and make it part of the educational experience.
  • Make the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.

The site offers some resources that can assist in planning and action options for faculty/staff, students, presidents, and  alumni.   You can also follow them on twitter.

Single Steam Recycling: how it works

A few people  have asked me recently about how single stream recycling works since its a better method for recycling.  (which has developed since in general people don’t seem to understand how to sort and not put trash in recycle bins, especially on my campus!)

This awesome Web site offers simply explained, short video clips demonstrating “the cycle” and “the MRF” (and by visiting their site you can also watch clips on paper, glass, metal, plastic and overseas!)

Cool new green library blogs

Some recent blogs I just discovered:

  • Sustainable Libraries – blogger Rebekkah Smith Aldrich who sounds like she has a cool job Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability at the Mid-Hudson Library System in New York (and LEED AP certification), will be blogging about Libraries + Green/Sustainable Buildings and says  “join me as we watch and collaborate with libraries around the country who are doing their best for their local and global communities.”
  • OU Libraries are Going for the Green! blog:  started this past fall and written by Alden Library staff , their goal is to blog about ideas for making their building & our work spaces more environmentally friendly, to share tips for greening the environments at home, and for announcing local sustainability event for Ohio University students, faculty, staff and the Athens community. Many postings discuss  their awesome Consciousness: Sustainability Workshops & Films  series.
  • Greening of Drexel Libraries Blog: Drexel’s Libraries Green Committee has been blogging for almost a year on all sorts of green topics including resources, news, reports, and events –  useful not only to the Drexel community  – but often relevant beyond their university. Check out their category listing on left to find topics important to you.

Are you a green library?

Monika Antonellis Green Libraries Web site – – has been redesigned and she is updating the directory.If you are a green library and are not included in the directory please send her the information and a short write-up in the following format: Name of library (URL). City, State Abbreviation. Description highlights. LEED status. If available, the building information URL. Send  info to monika.antonelli [at]

Google Battles Deforestation, working with Greg Asner of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Carlos Souza of Imazon,  has created a mapping software that tracks and monitors deforestation. Using satellite image data from past and future models, it maps the tree cover and show changes over time; beyond viewing data (as you can in google earth) it analyzes the raw data to extract meaning and application for it.  This  new technology is not only helpful to those battling deforestation, but has implication for the future:  through cloud computing, raw data from around the world could be gathered and used for other areas of environmental analysis and protection. Read more at blog.