rusq: Vol. 50 Issue 2: p. 195
Sources: Public Libraries Going Green
Molly Strothmann

Molly Strothmann, Social and Behavioral Sciences Librarian, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

Libraries, being professionally committed to advancing the public good, are in a unique position to model and promote sustainable, environmentally responsible practices. Miller describes strategies for making public libraries “green places” through sustainable building and maintenance, creating “green services” through improvements ranging from stocking copiers with post-consumer recycled paper to disposing of deselected materials creatively, and becoming “green teachers” through programs that encourage greater environmental awareness in patrons.

Public Libraries Going Green is written at an introductory level and will be most useful for librarians with limited prior experience with green practices. A light, conversational book, it can be either read in its entirety or mined for ideas on particular topics. While each individual topic is covered briefly, nearly all are supplemented with extensive references to additional resources for further information. The green ideas included range from simple, inexpensive changes in existing practices (switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, integrating titles on sustainability into reading programs) to much more ambitious transformations in library practices, facilities, and expectations (aiming for LEED certification in designing new library buildings, encouraging publishers to use recycled paper in printing books and periodicals). Though the book is intended for public libraries, many of its topics, such as tips on reducing water and energy consumption, have relevance for other settings as well and would be of use to any librarian whose responsibilities include facility oversight.

Public Libraries Going Green is part of the ALA Public Library Handbook Series and, practicing its own advice, is printed on 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper. Recommended.

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