Stoss Wins Green Education Award!

Fred Stoss (librarian at University at Buffalo) is know in library world for his work in the sustainability area. He has been a long advocate, presenters, writer, and educator in ALA and beyond in the area of greening libraries. Internationally he has been working with libraries in the Caribbean and recently won an award for his efforts:  the 1st  Friend of the Biblioteca Nacional Aruba (BNA, National Library of Aruba) Award for his work with in green education programming, helping to create the library’s Caribbean Energy, Environmental, and Sustainability Program. He received the award at the 3rd annual Green Education Symposium Aruba in April.   Read more  here and Congrats to Fred!




switch-headerCheck out the movie “Switch,” which explores a wide variety of future energy options. The Geological Society of America, American Geosciences Institute, American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Verizon Foundation are funding this for educational organizations and institutions by the Switch Energy Project (  All they ask is that when it is shown, you report the number of people who attended.

Also check out their efficiency tips page –  some great ideas broken down by easy, medium and hard (for the champions among us!) and by category like water, food,office, etc.

Study: Divesting From Fossil-Fuel Companies at Colleges

Is there hold back about pushing your campus to avoid fossil fuel companies might bring down monies brought to campus? Interesting  article from Jan. 29th  Chronicle of Higher Education  “Divesting From Fossil-Fuel Companies Is Unlikely to Harm Endowments, Report Says”   A study  by  the Aperio group states that “divesting from fossil-fuel companies does not necessarily add value to a portfolio, it does not subtract value from it either. ”  Also the article notes that  about 200 colleges have student groups pushing for their schools to divest in fossil fuel companies. Check out the Filthy 15 for key companies to avoid especially coal-burning power. (hmm hard for us here in southeast with states that are sadly not on board with alternatives right now, and think fracking is only other answer)

If you are an ALA member the Social Responsibilities Round Table has been trying to push an ALA resolution on Divestment of Holding in Fossil Fuel Companies as a social responsibility for the ALA.  At midwinter last month, the resolution was not passed  since it first needs to go through the  Budget and Review Committee (BARC) for study of possible financial impact on ALA  but stay tuned  by joining in SRRT or viewing their mailing list archives for information.

Green Apps!

In honor of Earth Week, there are a number of green apps available and worth checking out.

The Verde app (only for iPad) is FREE  – usually $5 – from now through Sunday/Earth Day. The Verde app helps you perform an energy audit of your  home. (or office or school etc). Once downloaded you choose you zone (geographically) and your energy rate (app can find it for you) and then go through various categories – adding your various appliances such as lighting, gadgets, etc. You choose which specific types in each category from lists and you can customize this data. The app will show you appx costs for your device and usage. A final report can also be emailed and used to help cut back on costs and usage!

A list of more green eco-friendly apps can be found on this macworld site.

For those wanting to get outside for the weekend, check out the FREE  AllTrails app (for iphone and android) – assists with finding trails, GPS Tracking, and  Topo maps for the hiking, camping, mountain biking, and National Parks. Sierra Club also has a FREE trail app called Trail Explorer (for iPhone only)

Special thanks to brown biggers for the suggestions!

New LEED Library: West Vancouver Memorial Library

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!

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!

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.

Public Library Partnership Offers Energy Savers Workshops!

Jefferson County Public Library(CO)  and Colorado Interfaith Power and Light are partnering to offer a series of free one-hour workshops workshops designed to help community members – focusing on over 55 year old  seniors – to reduce home energy use and cost.  These workshops will provide information and resources on how to make easy, low-cost changes in home energy use, and how to apply for low-income utility assistance, appliance rebates and tax credits, with each attendee creating a personalized home energy conservation plan,  each receiving a free compact fluorescent light bulb.  Click here to attend or find out more!

Gulf Oil Tragedy – what can WE do?

Several of us have been talking about the horrible gulf oil spill (leak? gush? disaster?) and how can we do anything to help.  The best thing anyone can do it write a letter to congress. Seriously.  Having met and heard speak, various congressmen, who all say a personal letter from their constituents – especially ones from the youth – will be read, rather than a petition or a form letter.  A letter not as much placing blame on anyone for the tragedy or being negative about it, but a letter about what we can and should be doing to alleviate this from happening again. A letter stating that you support and want congress to pass comprehensive clean, green energy and climate legislation that puts our nation on the path to a sustainable energy future as well as creating  new economy that grows jobs and a new american culture through production of cleaner vehicles and fuels, promotion of energy efficiency and renewables, placing firm limits on global warming pollution and ensuring that an oil spill catastrophe never happens again.

Perhaps a letter writing table in the library encouraging people to write down and mail their thoughts? A program with the youth in the library or school to write letters or draw pictures and mail to your local congressmen? Are any libraries doing this or something similar? Please share your ideas!