Going Green: In Your Building and Programs


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Provides a description of the ways in which libraries (with an emphasis on public libraries) can become environmental advocates for their communities.

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  • Public libraries are by their nature an excellent example of going green. You could say it’s our middle name in the Recycle – Reuse – Re-create rotation. We provide the materials you can check and return.

  • In Kathryn Miller’s book Public Libraries Go Green she points out that public libraries are challenged by their communities to go green. We can answer the challenge in how we our maintain and outfit our facility, in the resources and learning opportunities we make available to our community, and even in the partnerships we cultivate.
  • Your library, like mine, has made pro-environment decisions, as funding has allowed. We’ve expanded our collection beyond books & physical materials and into internet-based offerings that include web pages, databases, eBooks, and social media like Facebook and Twitter.
    You probably are making these same green moves in your facility
    SmartRecycle, local recycler, approached us in ‘06 about recycling cell phones and ink/toner cartridges. They designed the bin. In addition to receiving a check every other month, our local Verizon Wireless selected the library to receive their donation in January. . .$109.
    Sponsoring used book sales from carts, tables or maybe a shop (Friends Shoppe here at WPL)
    Replaced incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs
    Using products for cleaning and painting that are certified as environmentally friendly

  • The Nature Bin Square Recycler helped us transition from providing plastic bags to offering recycled bags. We removed the flap and its handle and cut an enlarged opening on the top to make it easier for the public to reach in for their bag. We haven’t purchased plastic bags since the day we positioned this container in the atrium near the checkout desk and the self-checkout stations. The cost was around $70.
  • Local resident asked if the library would consider being an outlet to loan meters to the public. We worked with the City of Westerville Electric Division. They purchased a dozen meters and donated them to the library.
    We were aware that Marysville PL starting checking out the handheld meters in December – they have 10 that go out for 7-day loan. The user figures out what he pays for a kilowatt hour of electricity by doing a little math from the info on his monthly bill. Then, he programs that figure into the meter, plugs the meter into the wall and plugs an appliance into the meter. It calculates the cost per kilowatt hour. We promoted the Kill A Watt EZ in our quarterly newsletter and all twelve meters were immediately checked out and went on reserve.
  • Think globally, act locally. It’s a popular approach to conservation that some feel can be improved to include individual actions people– making their personal lives more environmentally friendly. Everyday actions that each individual can take to preserve natural resources.
    Today people want to have a conservation ethic: care about the environment and know what they can do about it.

    Here is a pocket, business card we call an EXPLORE Guides. (Going Green is one of 76 guides. Go to http://explore.westervillelibrary.org/).

  • This bookmark is another method of educating the public with tips to go green, where to look on our shelves to find books related to the environment and sustainability and then specific ways that the library is being environmentally friendly. (EZ Meter needs to be added)
  • As part of the library’s salute to Westerville’s 150th anniversary and to coincide with Earth Day the library held a Greening Westerville Fair. The idea behind the fair was to provide residents with an opportunity to discover ways to go green in their home, yard, business and community.
  • Our speaker was the department chair of the Sociology Dept. at our local Otterbein College whose areas of specialty were global social change and environmental sociology. She and the students in her Urban Sociology class completed a report that evaluated the relevance of a sustainable community movement for Westerville. She spoke to a group seated in our meeting room and then answered questions from the audience.
  • After her talk, we invited everyone to follow the green footprints we had taped to the floor leading to the display tables out in the library.

    We invited 10 organizations and businesses to show ways they have adopted and are encouraging sustainable practices. Our recycle company for public donations of cell phones and ink cartridges. Raisin Rack brought food samples, brochures and sample products. Ohio Energy Project brought their Energy Bike. By pedaling the bike which is attached to an electrical board, the rider generates electricity to power a variety of light bulbs and small appliances. The rider reads the gauges to measure his or her performance and observes how brightly the light bulbs shine. The more energy a light bulb or appliance requires, the harder it is to pedal the bike. The rider feels firsthand the remarkable difference between how much energy incandescent bulbs take compared to CFLs and LEDs.

    Local coffee shop owners who specialize in fair trade coffees and teas shared samples.
    The Soil and Water Conservation Project folks talked about things residents can do in the own backyards to prevent erosion and apply rain garden methods. Herb garden and native plant info from metro garden.
  • We invited the Westerville Shade Tree Commission (group of 7 community volunteers who suggest, monitor and report on any actions necessary for the care, selection and preservation of trees, shrubs and other greenery in public ways and areas in our community) to hold their annual gathering here at the Library. New plantings and a wetlands area were being installed at our community’s new outdoor swimming complex. The landscape designer spoke on how sustainable landscaping was used there; the county soil & water conservation rep spoke on how to make sustainable work in your backyard and the nursery owner showed how to select the plants and materials needed for your sustainable project. The commission rep brought organic seeds, planting soil and a rain barrel as an eye-catching display for our atrium.
  • More than 40 miles of bike paths run throughout Westerville and there is a portion of one and a small park that comes near the library. That benefit and a staff member with experience entering biking events provided an opportunity for the library to partner with Parks & Rec on a Tour of Westerville bike event. Biking adventure for all ages. 3 tours: advanced, intermediate, beginners. First 75 people registered received tshirts.
    We hosted the Pit Stop with programs (Exploring Our Trails by Parks & Rec), a storytime, Getting Started in Bicycling with pointers from a local bike store owner, refreshments from our coffee counter, biking equipment displays and programs. Registered riders were entered in prize drawings for bike helmets and bike tune-ups courtesy of a second bike shop in town. Bike adjustments were offered and the group Rails-to-Trails put up a display.

  • Our pit stop was good way to introduce the idea of the library as a stopping place for riders on the bike path, partner with the city parks & rec representative and encourage bicycling and fitness.
  • Book Crafts
    Planned for May 7, the program is the essence of re-using withdrawn books. Hanging book mobile or a book safe.
    construct a trunk by stacking five or six narrow books, preferably with brown or neutral covers. Then layer on roughly 12 opened ones (widest first) with the pages facing down. Try green or red covers, or a mix of both. Take a page from a worn holiday book and fashion it into a bow. (Go to realsimple.com/giftbow for easy step-by-step instructions.) Glue a hard candy in the center to add a sweet touch.
  • Altered books workshop attendees were excited to learn about a new scrapbooking medium and had fun playing with some of the different techniques. We provided lots of old stickers, wallpaper sample books, tissue paper, fortune cookie fortunes as items to experiment with. The library bought glue and Xacto knives. Available on our slideshare site.
  • Partnering with a landscape architect friend, the library has plans for a pizza garden this summer. She’s got a space picked out and plans to start with tomatoes, herbs and peppers.
    Learn the basics and more about ornamental grasses from landscape horticulturist Char Steelman.

    Public Gardens Manager for Inniswood Metro Gardens will show striking photos and live specimens of diverse grasses appropriate for your garden. Discover the wide range of spectacular grasses, the key design elements to consider, the culture, and some do's and don'ts. Also, find out what's hot in the garden stores.
  • Created a Children’s Garden directly outside the picture book room, along the main street in Westerville.
    The garden was introduced in a special storytime in April where children potted their own marigold seeds to take home and nurture.
  • Children came back to check on the progress and tend to their plant during Garden Club.
  • Garden is completely organic, and all crafts for the groundbreaking were created using recycled materials. Milk jugs were reinvented as watering cans. Very little funding, about $10 in craft supplies, was spent. The Westerville Garden Club purchased all other materials.
  • A good combination of partnership and environmentally friendly program offerings can happen as a direct result of a summer reading program. Catch the Reading Bug statewide collaborative library summer reading program provided us with lots of ideas and plans for programs. Presenters can be local park staff such as the speaker for What’s Bugging You? or other organizations the collaboration of libraries may have contacted.
  • Furry Flyers
    All about that amazing mammal, the bat
    OSU Wildlife Program specialist

    Local Museums—ask for their education programs department
    333 West Broad Street
    Columbus, OH 43215
    614.228.COSI (2674)

    contact Doug Buchanan, Education Programs Marketing Manager, at dbuchanan@mail.cosi.org or

    Classroom & On-line Activities
    COSI’s activities support the educational experiences provided in our
    building and through our programs. COSI's activities align with Ohio
    Academic Content Standards.
    COSI On Wheels
    COSI comes to you! COSI On Wheels demonstrates science at schools
    and special events through programming that supports Ohio Academic
    Content Standards.

  • Going Green: In Your Building and Programs

    1. 1. Going GREEN in your building and programs Linda Wilkins Westerville Public Library
    2. 2. The library can Go Green as an ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER EDUCATOR PARTNER Public Libraries Going Green By Kathryn Miller
    3. 3. environmental LEADER SALE: Used Books
    4. 4. www.recyclingbin.com
    5. 5. Shows the operating costs of your household appliances Accurate to within 0.2%. Connect an appliance to the Kill A WattEZ™, and it will assess the efficiency. Large LCD display will count consumption by the kilowatt-hour. Calculates cost and forecasts by week, month and year www.p3international.com/products/p4460.html
    6. 6. environmental EDUCATOR TEASER FOR GUIDE --Want info about energy efficiency? --Wondering how you can make a difference? --Need to research global warming? --Check out this guide! ON THE GUIDE: -- Keywords for searching -- How the library can help -- Websites -- Green products -- Books & movies -- Green activism -- Local information -- Online databases
    7. 7. Greening Westerville Fair environmental PARTNER
    8. 8. Fair Presenters -- SmartRecycle -- Wild Birds Unlimited -- Raisin Rack Natural Food Market -- Inniswood Metro Gardens -- the Ohio Energy Project -- Java Central -- Westerville Farmers Market -- City Electric Division & Franklin Soil & Water Conservation Project -- Holl’s Honey -- Flying J Organic Farm
    9. 9. Sustainable Landscaping Shade Tree Commission -- Landscape designer -- Rep from County Soil & Water Conservation District -- Nursery Owner
    10. 10. Parks & Recreation Westerville Bike Shop Allstate Insurance BikeSource Library: Pit Stop
    11. 11. inhabitat.com/ book-shelf-made-from-books/ realsimple.com/home-organizing/ new-uses-for-old-things
    12. 12. Create a hiding place Altered Art for the First Time by Madeline Arendt Altered Books Workshop Scrapbooking and More with Found Objects See it on Slideshar e
    13. 13. Susan and I met with my landscape architect friend on Friday. Sounds like plans are moving forward! She’s got a space picked out and plans to sta Coming this summer: Pizza Garden Ornamental Grasses In the plans: CSA community sponsored agriculture -- joint programs with community gardeners and family growers
    14. 14. As a lead-in to our CHILDREN’S GARDEN: Family Storytime & Planting Kids potted their seeds to take home and nurture
    15. 15. Children’s Garden Westerville Mayor speaker at groundbreaking Westerville Garden Club funded the plants
    16. 16. As the children planted, their plants were marked with their names.
    17. 17. Little Green Thumbs Gardening Club• Each Saturday 10-11am • Tended garden • Craft or activity
    18. 18. What’s Bugging You? Local metro park system
    19. 19. The Phenomenal Bee Central OH Beekeepers Assoc. How bees pollinate, make honey & beeswax Crickets, Beetles & Flies, Oh My! OSU Entomology graduate student Do bees have knees? Do dragonflies sting?