JSTOR Sustainability Resource

JSTOR Sustainability is a new online resource that brings together journals, policy research and books on the topic of environmental sustainability and resilience – topics from agricultural economics to green energy, and from climatology to sustainable business practices.  It was built in collaboration with think tanks, publishers, universities and researchers including American Meteorological Society, the International Association for Energy Economics, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Centre for European Policy Studies. (read more here)

Resource Guide for Green Librarians!

Check out this great resource guide  by Laura Barnes  of Prairie Research Institute, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (University of Illinois Library)

I love the guide’s opening Introduction box that contains handouts from green library workshops with slides and resources.  It  includes RSS feeds from the Environmental News Bits Libraries category and  a list of new green library resources (from her “delicious” bookmarks tagged for green libraries) which you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

Other tabs include a Sustainability Overview, with book and website recommendations in general and for sustainable libraries; a Green Building/facility tab with sections on energy, green cleaning and water efficiency; a Purchasing tab, with info on greenwashing, product guides, electronic disposal, and paper use/recycling; a collection development tab on green weeding information and collection development collection resource links; and lastly a Programming tab with book lists, curriculum resources, and art/craft projects.

Thanks Laura, a great resource so many libraries can now use!

Environmental News Network

A great site to visit or add to your resources, the Environmental News Network post sevearl researched quality news articles daily. They are both aggregators of environmental news and produce articles written and researched on their own.  Read the latest or top news, or choose a category like wildlife, pollution, energy policies or more.  Follow the latest from ENN through RSS feed or on twitter.  They state they are an unbiased source of environmental news.  There is also an ENN community where you can get involved and connect with others.

Teaching Green Resources

Online Degree Programs has a great blog post called: Teaching Green: 100 Tips, Tools & Resources for Every Kind of Classroom. They offer lists of online resources by category and here are some examples:

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  www.explorethecycle.com 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!)

Promote your library

As many libraries are closing, the need for libraries being  questioned, and competition for library type services growing, finding ways to advocate and grow your library is essential.  Promote your library as a green and cost saving.  Start by simply promoting the idea that you can save money by borrowing a book from the library instead of buying it.  Note the long term cost and environmental savings since the library owns one copy that can be borrowed again and again and again,  cutting down on the eco-impact of producing copies that  book (trees, water, energy, waste…) for each of these borrowers. Other companies are promoting business that provide “24/7 access to online resources for your research needs.” Dont libraries already offer this for free?  Promote your online library resources available 24/7 such as online databases, audio books, ebooks, newspapers, digital collections, and services like renewing library materials, tutorials, and sometimes even online chat 24/7.  Make your web presence a quality portal of information and resources.  Users can save a drive to the library and still access a wealth of information and services.  Start simply promoting the things you are already doing that are green and cost saving.

Library card holders still out number Amazon.com customers 5:1.  Determine your cost benefit of services for tax dollars. In most cases libraries benefits exceed the tax costs (Read:  Glen Holt and Donald Elliott, “Cost Benefit t Analysis: A Summary of the Methodology,” The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 15 (4) 2002, pp. 154-158)  Also check out  Libraries: How They Stack Up report from OCLC  (2003) for more interesting stats and data.

Green Wikia

With the climate crisis and environmental issues coming to light in main stream society, more and more people are looking for information on the topic. Green Wikia strives to fill this niche.  It’s like Wikipedia with a green point of view, focusing on relevant and accessible, things you can do. Green Wikia states its mission to be a solid, trusted place to go for more information on living sustainably. Green Wikia encourages others to participate in their areas of expertise by submitting short articles or stubs.  They have a wanted articles section as well.  The Village Pump is a discussion area to connect with others, hear what might be in the works, or comment on how Green Wikia can improve.

It’s quick and easy (and of course free) to register and then add some content such as what you library is doing that’s green. The Green Wikia will only expand and improve its content with others joining and participating.

Can you telecommute?

For employers or employees, here is an article with some ideas to help you think through the process and decided how to make telecommuting work for everyone.  The article lists some simple sections on How to Stay Connected while working at home, Creating Reasons for Why this should be allowed, and A Trial Run of starting small (one day a month) to test the idea.

In general, it saves the employee money on gas, thus being more environmentally friendly, and will allow the employee to be more productive by eliminating the the social aspects and distractions of an office environment. Other suggestions for why can be found on this old post.

Recent articles on the topic:

  • Duncan, J. (2008). “Working from Afar: A New Trend in Librarianship.” College and Research Libraries News 69(4): 216-18, 236.
  • Gajendran, R. S., & Harrison, D. A. (2007). “The good, the bad, and the unknown about telecommuting: Meta-analysis of psychological mediators and individual consequences.” Journal of Applied Psychology 92(6): 1524-1541.
  • Gajendran, R. S., Harrison, D. A., Facer, R. L., & Wadsworth, L. (2008). “Alternative Work Schedules and Work-Family Balance: A Research Note.”  Review of public personnel administration 28(2): 166-177.
  • Nelson, P., Safirova, E., & Walls, M. (2007). “Telecommuting and environmental policy: Lessons from the ecommute program. ” Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 12(3): 195-207.
  • Oppenheim, R. (2008).  On the Road Again: Gear for a Mobile World. Searcher, 16(3), 20-3, 60-2.
  • Oppenheim, R. (2008).   An Office in Every Home? Searcher, 16(5): 30-3, 62-3.
  • Peterson, S. (2007). “This eWEEK: Tech advancements have improved telecommuting.” EWEEK 24 (6): 5 -7.
  • Rash, W. (2007). “Government Slow to Adopt.” EWEEK , 24 (3): 14.

If you do try working from home, join the new telecommuting librarians list; details found on this Beyond the Job blog post.