The last session I attended at Library Camp was "Green librarianship: recycle, reuse, both print and e-tools, paper alternatives, green leadership in our inst., collaborate with publishers, hardware vendors." It was conceived and facilitated by Brita Servaes. I was thrilled that the topic was even proposed, and that the discussion was attended by at least 20 people (which is about the same as the other sessions I went to--20 out of 150 people when there were 8 sessions to choose from).
Mostly the session was about people exchanging frustrations and ideas with the greenness, or lack thereof, of their libraries, but we also came up with two concrete action items: start a METRO SIG and create a green librarianship wiki (which I agreed to host on Radical Reference).
Here's a list of the ideas that most struck me.
- Put as the footer for each document and email--in green--"Consider the environment before you print this."
- Install energy efficient lighting
- One institution seems to have banned bottled water? I'm not sure how this works, but I think it's a great idea. Give everyone a reusable bottle and point them to the water fountain!
- Resource: from Arlington, VA Aire initiative and Fresh Aire blog. Steve Carr, a workshop participant and librarian from Arlington County PL contributed a million ideas from this project. If they can do it...we all can, right?
- Subsidize walking, biking, and public transit use for workers
- Anyone have any idea how to replace golf pencils at the reference desk with something less wasteful?
- A group took the one sized used paper (presumably left in printers and copiers), cut it in half, and bound it into pads that they sold for $.50 each.
- Make green resources guides
- Resource: The Myth of the Paperless Office, a book by Abigail J. Sellen.
- Use Energy Star appliances
- Purchase furniture made out of recycled seat belts (!). Look for the designation, "no VOC."
- Use consortia to buy green materials (buying them in larger bulk to get them more cheaply)
- Resource: "Kill a Watt" meters--buy them for circulation at your library so patrons can track their killowatt usage.
- Get student or friends groups to help you apply pressure to your administration to make green changes.
- Arrange a furniture exchange for international students (when students move out, they donate their furniture for use by students from overseas).
- Work with freegans to harvest goodies from dorm move out day.
- Donate books and materials to Freecycles and Materials for the Arts.
- Apply money saved from insituting a print quota to the higher cost of recycled paper.
- NYLA has a partnership with Better World Books to sell library book discards. "Support literacy and reduce waste!"
There were others that I didn't write down, so be sure to check the wiki for the official note taker's version. He seemed to be doing a great job keeping up.