GPL Blog

From the Director’s Desk — How Green Is Your Library?

We are about a year away from moving into our new facility and are taking steps to ensure the library is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable in our new space. Some of the sustainable initiatives we’ve taken include planning for an electronic vehicle charging station in our future parking lot, building a skills lab with tools for patrons to use and share, and adding solar panels to our roof through the Solar for All program. In the meantime, there are several ways we are practicing environmental responsibility for our library and our community.

Libraries, by the very nature of our existence, reduce waste by sharing materials with our communities. We own over 134,000 items that can be accessed by and shared among our community members, including items that can be borrowed, like books, movies, music, magazines, toys, games, hot spots, etc., and items that are shared within the library like public computers, newspapers in print and on microfilm, and a public meeting room. Lending and sharing reduce consumption and waste, save our community members money, and create more equitable opportunities for all Galesburg residents.

Some of the items we lend encourage and allow library users to reduce their environmental impact, including bike locks to support cyclists and Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitors. Our seed library provides fruit, vegetable, and flower seeds available to the public at no cost, and we provide many paths for patrons to recycle, share, and rehome their own materials, including our blessing box, our annual Halloween costume drive, and, new this spring, a puzzle and board game swap.

Outdoors, our Monarch Waystation supports butterfly migration and survival, and we plan to include another at the new library location. The windows of our new building will have bird-safe glazing to reduce bird strikes and lessen our impact on migration patterns.

If you are interested in discussing the environment and sustainability with other community members, please consider joining the Food for Thought Book Club which meets monthly at Cornucopia and discusses books about food, climate, and the environment. The current read is Wastelands by Corban Addison, which is available for check out at the library, and the next meeting is Thursday, March 30, at 11:30.

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