Check out this new ebook from ACRL and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) – The Greening of America’s Libraries: LEEDing the Way by Mary M. Carr and Steven L. Carr, United States Green Building Council (USGBC) trained and certified accredited LEED-AP professionals and librarians. This ebook includes information, standards, and tools necessary to construct or renovate a library in accordance with the USGBC’s LEED requirements and process. It is available for purchase in a variety of e-book formats through the ALA Online Store and Amazon.com; and through EBSCO for library e-book collections.
Education News offers a summary of recent “Local Leaders in Sustainability” report by the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council showing how greening schools is not only eco-friendly but saves districts money! One example given is school system in Mississippi saving $23,000 in energy costs in the past year by participating in the Tennessee Valley Authority Green School Initiative (a program called Green Power Switch which produces electricity from renewable sources).
The report explains the benefits of greening schools, explains roles local/state/federal can play to go green, as well as providing ideas and action plans to green schools.Green school improve student health, decrease absenteeism, improve student performances, keep teacher retention, can be used as a teaching tool, bring community together, save money by using less water and electricity, increase property values, and do not cost more than conventional schools!
One of the best things of the report are the Model Advocate and Profile of a Green School sections – real world examples of advocates for greening school, such as Mayor Riley of Charleston SC who believes so strongly in this endeavor he promote a now existing a one-cent sales tax to support green school construction! And Profiles of Green Schools like River Crest Elementary School in Hudson, WI – a green school constructed below the cost of a conventional school! The end of the report offers suggestion such as connecting with your local USGBC Chapter, creating a green school task force, hosting a green school summit, creating a green school challenge, hire a green school fellow, create a green energy school policy or green cleaning policy, tour other green schools, and info on lots of groups to check out.
The University of New Brunswick in Saint Johns (Canada) created a new commons that is environmentally friendly, LEED silver certified. The Hans W. Klohn Commons opened in Fall 2011 and includes the library, the student tech center, the writing center, the math/science help center and a commons cafe – a true campus information commons! The space includes lots of natural and LED lighting, reuse of rainwater, geothermal technologies, and elevators that actually produces power when used back into the building. Find out more about the space through these videos:
In June 2011, the 61 year-old building of West Vancouver Memorial Library received LEED Canada Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance Silver certification, a FIRST for British Columbia! The library manages its power consumption and you can view their Pulse Energy Dashboard, and they lend power meters to their patrons! Individuals and the institution take actions to reduce garbage, recycle everything from styrofoam to electronics, conserve water and energy, & source and use greener office and cleaning supplies (check out their link to green suppliers). They even created a Green Building Operations Policy. Soon their will have a new roof which will be low maintenance, cost effective and energy efficient. Their library green team educates and promotes sustainable actions such as alternative transportation like walking, cycling, public transportation and carpooling which now is up to 50% of all staff members’ trips to and from the Library.
They are very interested in linking up with other librarians who have been working on making libraries greener so they can continue to improve. From Librarian Tara Matsuzaki: “It is also our goal to inspire others and share how we took lots of small steps became more sustainabl. Please visit our sustainability page or contact us. ”
Read more about their amazing initiatives!
At the recent ALA Annual Conference the Top Innovators were announced by the Urban Libraries Council including one noted for sustainability. The Greensboro Public Library (NC) Kathleen Clay Edward Library is stated to be the first library to be an Environmental Education Center (according to the article in Library Journal). This library branch sits on 98-acre Price Park and includes a bird and butterfly meadow, reading garden, walking trails, ponds, and wetlands and offers extensive collection of nature, gardening, and environmental resources for children and adults. Though their web site is poor the library and area are beautiful, and if you are ever in the Greensboro area, check it out or Like them on Facebook!
If you missed the article in American Libraries Magazine in March/April 2011, check it out online or better yet read about it at http://www.natureexplorium.org/ . 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!
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 http://www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings 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!