Nature Explorium @your library

If you missed the article in American Libraries Magazine in March/April 2011, check it out online or better yet read about it at Middle Country Public Library (MCPL) in Centereach, NY, created a 5000 sq ft  outdoor learning space adjacent to the library, in collaboration  with the Long Island Nature Collaborative for Kids (LINCK) – a group of early childhood, museum, and library professionals who actively promote the development of parks, outdoor classrooms, and community places for nature education. MCPL’s Nature Explorium which opened on April 20, 2011, contains a variety of areas, all geared toward connecting children to a different aspect of nature.  Some fun aspects include climbing/crawling area, messy materials area, building area, nature art area, music and performance area, planting area, gathering/conversation place, reading area, and water feature, a Book Path where donors select their favorite children’s book or quote, a Friends Bench displaying native Long Island animals and READ plaques displaying  donors’ favorite quotes about Reading, Environment, Adventure, and Discovery.  Check out their array of workshops and offerings in the areas of  Climb It, Dig It, Plant It, Read It, Create It, Play It, and Splash It!

Check out the photos if you can’t visit the area, and better yet, brainstorm a way to create this type of natural learning space at your library!

Energy Star’s Battle of the Buildings!

Teams from 245 buildings across the nation are in a head-to-head battle to see who can reduce their energy the most. From this field, a small group of top-performing finalists will compete to be the country’s top energy saver–and winner of the 2011 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition. Among those competitors are dozens of state and local entrants, including courthouses, town halls, schools, LIBRARIES , and community centers. How will Colorado’s Dillon Town Hall measure up against Indiana’s Kokomo High School? Will Bradenton, Florida’s Manatee County Historical Courthouse reduce its energy use more than the Hawaii State Capitol Building? Visit to learn more and to cheer all the state and local government participants.

2010 Winner was Morrison Hall, UNC at Chapel Hill came out on top by cutting its energy use by 36% in just one year!

2011 GREEN BOOK FESTIVAL – Deadline to submit Satuday!

Thanks Fred Stoss/TFOE for the info:

The 2011 Green Book Festival’s final deadline for entries to its annual competition honoring books that contribute togreater understanding, respect and positive action on the changing worldwide environment arrives on May 7.

All entries must be received by the deadline date. The 2011 Green BookFestival will consider published, self-published and independent publisherworks in the following categories: non-fiction, fiction, children’s books,teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/graphic novels, poetry, science fiction/horror, biography/autobiography, gardening, cookbooks, animals, photography/art, e-books, wild card (anything goes!), scientific, white paper, legal, business, mystery and spiritual.

Entries can be in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese or Italian.

Our grand prize for the 2011 Green Book Festival is $1500 and transportation to our May 21 awards in San Francisco OR an equivalent amount donated in your name to the environmental charity of your choice.

A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:
1) The overall writing style and presentation of the work;
2) The potential of the work to enhance understanding of the environment
and its issues;

TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at or may be sent to you by emailing or calling our office at 323-665-8080.

The Green Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers of
the Hollywood Book Festival, New York Book Festival and DIY Convention: Do
It Yourself in Film, Music & Books.

Tree Planting Info

Last Friday April 29 was the official Arbor Day but everyday can be Arbor Day! website has a plethora of info and resources. Their Tree Guide offers details on commonly planted landscape trees. Check out your hardiness zone according to zip code.  Be sure to check out the plant the right tree diagrams and quizzes to learn where you should plant a tree or try the Best Tree Finder Wizard.  Their forums allows posting of questions, sharing advice and stories or building networks of people.

Libraries can use this resource when tree planting around their library and especially to share with their patrons! And its always a nice gift to give to tree.

Calculate Solar Power

FindSolar is a great resources for libraries to share with their patrons or use themselves!  This website offers lots of resources, location information on solar and allows users to determine the cost of adding solar to your home (including pools, spas and domestic hot water) based on location, climate and electric bills.  It offer info for both  residential and commercial through it’s a partnership with American Solar Energy Society, Solar Electric Power Association, Energy Matters and the US Dept of Energy.

Check out the Solar Maps area to find out where solar is currently located (or add your location if missing!), the learn of solar power incentives your area, to see how your state compares to others in regards to rebates and incentives, and even view a California heat map to see how solar installation has grown there in recent years.  The Solar Power Costs calculator will help you determine if solar energy will work for you.