Ohio Libraries Help Create Green Communities
In late 2010, the Urban Libraries Council released a research report titled Partners for the Future: Public Libraries and Local Governments Creating Sustainable Communities. The report identified and discussed ways in which public libraries could help support what it called the triple bottom line of sustainable development: economic vitality, environmental quality, and social equity, to help make their communities sustainable. The report identified four ways public libraries support environmental sustainability goals in their communities:
With the approach of Earth Day 2011, the articles in this issue of our newsletter take a look at some of the large and small ways Ohio’s public libraries are supporting environmental goals in their communities.
Two of the public libraries featured in this issue have been recognized for their efforts to model green practice in building design and construction. The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library was the first public library in Ohio to obtain LEED certification when it was awarded a Silver status for its renovation of the Reynolds Corner Branch Library. The Ritter Public Library was the first public library in Ohio to earn a Gold award when it earned LEED certification for its building expansion in 2010. The Rice Branch of the Cleveland Public Library also attained Silver LEED Certification. The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County utilized “green architecture” when building the new Poland Library, which opened in December 2001. Libraries also model green practices in smaller ways. For example, the Akron-Summit County Public Library uses centralized printing stations to reduce the use of paper and toner and installed timers on public PCs to decrease the use of energy.
Many of Ohio’s libraries educate the public about environmental sustainability in a number of ways, including using recycled materials in craft programs for children, teens, and adults and providing books and other resources to help community members learn about environmental issues and what they can do to help. The Dayton Metro Library took this a step further last summer when they developed their summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults around a “green” theme in 2010.
Ohio libraries also engage their communities in support of local environmental projects and goals. Last summer, the Dayton Metro Library teamed with the Montgomery County Solid Waste District and the Regional Air Pollution Control Authority to collect hard-to-recycle items. This month, the Swanton Public Library will hold its first Recycling Day in cooperation with a local recycling center. Several other libraries have developed similar partnerships.
We hope the articles in this edition of our newsletter will provide you with some ideas to help your library and your community “go green!”
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