How Green Is My Library?

How Green Is My Library?

How Green Is My Library?

How Green Is My Library?


While there is a broad spectrum of ecological sophistication within libraries nationwide and some regions are at the forefront of sustainable of sustainable design and operations, others are just beginning or have yet to integrate materials recycling into their daily practice. A few jurisdictions are mandating LEED certified buildings and carbon-neutral practices, while others do not yet have these concepts on their radars.


This practical guide provides essential information for anyone planning or responsible for library buildings and operations and maintenance. It combines “what to do” information about going green with “how to do it” guidance. Starting from basic definitions and ways to determine current status, it moves through how to actually develop and implement an action plan. It imparts the knowledge and confidence needed to lead such an effort.

Library managers, facilities managers, library boards of trustees, and students in library science programs will all benefit from this broad view of “green,” ranging from use of cleaning products to design and construction of new libraries. This unique book not only educates about sustainability but also helps the reader evaluate the current status of a library. Armed with that information, anyone can then use the processes outlined to develop and implement plans and projects to move their library further up the green scale.

Library buildings are special places. Very often, a library in a community or on a campus has more visitors than any other building. How users feel about the entire community is influenced by their experiences and perceptions of the library as a building, a space, and a set of services.

Thus, a library has the opportunity, and arguably the responsibility, to educate its users about sustainability and to serve as a model of best practices in sustainable design and operations. This book will help any reader to make a library more green and to do so in a way that informs, educates, and leads not only those who work in and use libraries but also entire communities.

Jane Light, Director San José Public Library . . .

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