Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Libraries Going Green

There are many ways nowadays that libraries are improving upon their sustainability methods, from reducing unnecessary waste to bringing indoor plants into the picture to improve indoor air quality. In the Armacost Library we have been making an effort toward a more green environment. Taking a look at other academic libraries has been a helpful way of doing so. Here are some of the ways other libraries have been making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and improve other aspects of their library with environmentally friendly features.

photograph by Nicole Loughan, 2013

Natural Light:  Skylights and a larger amount of windows have been common additions to new libraries being built. This helps to conserve both energy and money as the lights have to be turned on less often. Recent studies have also shown that students feel less tension and anxiety when spending long periods of time next to windows and with natural light as opposed to solid walls and indoor lighting.

photograph by Alice Dubin, 2013

Indoor Plants:  Plants are being used indoors more and more commonly to reduce carbon dioxide and other common harmful compounds in closed buildings. Plants indoors can also help people inside to feel less stressed and more productive.

Reducing the Use of Unneeded Resources:
  • Printing is often a necessity in academic libraries. Many schools, including our own, have made efforts to reduce the amount of paper we use by turning in papers electronically or assigning homework online.
  • Energy efficient lighting and motion sensors for both lighting fixtures and water faucets have been popular installations to conserve common resources.
  • Many academic libraries have cafes for students. One way that has been very successful for reducing the use of plastic cups around schools is asking them to bring their own reusable mugs.

For more information, please visit these resources:

- posted by Sara Frank

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