Earth Day will be observed April 22.
Year ago the American Library Association (ALA) added sustainability as a core value of librarianship. At the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, ALA Council committed to the triple bottom-line framework for sustainability: practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable.
Number of years Earth Day—widely recognized as launching the modern environmental movement—has been observed. ALA’s Sustainability Round Table will promote 50 actions libraries can take to celebrate the Earth Day 2020 milestone.
Number of public libraries that have so far been certified under the New York Library Association’s Sustainable Library Certification Program. Lindenhurst Memorial Library, Saratoga Springs Public Library, and Hendrick Hudson Free Library in Montrose all finished the first-of-its-kind program last year.
Amount that LEED-certified buildings saved in energy costs from 2015 to 2018, according to the US Green Building Council. LEED buildings also saved an additional $715 million in maintenance costs and $54 million in waste savings.
Percentage of cleaning products used at the Clinton Presidential Library that are environmentally friendly. The Little Rock, Arkansas, library has platinum-level LEED certification. When it opened in 2004, it became both the first LEED-certified US presidential library and first LEED-certified building in the state.
Number of solar panels on the roof of McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. The panels produce enough electricity annually to power 25 homes.
Percentage by which Santa Cruz, California, aims to reduce its community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (as compared with 1990 levels). Patrons at Santa Cruz Public Library’s downtown location were invited this year to learn about flooding, erosion, and the city’s coastline management plans through a virtual reality experience.
11.2 million tons
Amount of textiles sent to landfills in 2017, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Number of items exchanged at Burlington (Iowa) Public Library’s 2018 clothing swap.
Amount in California Energy Commission funds that went to energy-efficiency retrofits at three San Diego Public Library branches. As a part of a state project aimed at fighting climate change, the Point Loma, Serra Mesa–Kearney Mesa, and Valencia Park/Malcolm X locations were outfitted with solar panels, temperature controls, and lighting reduction monitors last year.