W.E.I.R.D steps to a greener library

Weeding magazines and rehoming them

It may surprise you to know that as more libraries have their magazines available online, hardcopy magazines have become a rare and valuable commodity. A short while ago my library weeded out some gardening and other magazines, and offered them to a local primary school. The art teachers were overjoyed and very appreciative of their new stash, asking that we keep them in mind should we be discarding other mags. Op shops are also grateful for magazine like Gardening Australia, which don’t really date and are expensive to buy. Here are some more great ideas for upcycling magazines.

Magazines and dust jacket art. by KMindum

Embracing the potential of the dust jacket

Not all libraries remove the dust jackets from books, but if you do, they are another source of beautiful images on good quality paper. As with magazines, they are valuable not only to school art rooms, but may also be appreciated by aged care facilities, where they can be used for collages, card making and other paper crafts.

Inspiring library projects

The 2021 Libraries by Design Conference, (hosted by State Library of Victoria together with Public Libraries Victoria) was 2 jam packed days of inspirational speakers and amazing library projects, many with a sustainability focus. One particular highlight the presentation by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (library sustainability expert and champion) who spoke about sustainable thinking, building community resilience and smart library design for the future. Rebekkah’s session was definitely a real call to action and a highlight of the conference. You can watch all the conference recordings on YouTube.

Reducing what you laminate

Does your library automatically laminate all signage? Ask yourself whether this is really necessary. Laminated signs cannot be recycled, so why not bypass this step?

  • Now you will be able to pop the sign straight into paper recycling once it has in no longer needed.
  • You avoid the sign being difficult to read if the laminate is glossy.

Dreaming of Stars

Planning a renovation, refurbishment or just after ideas for improving the carbon footprint of your library? There may be green project grants that your library or organisation could apply for. Who knows, you might just get onto the Green Star Project Directory alongside Sydney’s Green Square Library and Plaza. You might even find yourself on the IFLA Green Library Award short list, like the Envirocentre @Hobson’s Bay Libraries. Projects like these are wonderful examples of what is possible and provide us with plenty of food for thought.

By Katalin Mindum, ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group Member

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