Library Journal had a provocative article in the Nov. 1 issue, "Global warming's library challenge", calling for immediate plans and actions. Our library has several times partnered with a local sustainability group to offer programs and discussions. But talk and programs are not enough. We've made substantial strides to recycle and conserve energy, but that's not enough.
We need to be intentional; at the very least, an awareness of sustainability concerns should inform our purchasing and planning. Writing in the September issue of Shambhala Sun, Thich Nhat Hanh noted:
If we continue to live as we have been living, consuming without a thought to the future, destroying our forests and emitting greenhouse gases, then devastating climate change is inevitable. ...Potential areas for "green library" discussion, planning and action:
The Chinese, the Indians, and the Vietnamese are still dreaming the “American dream,” as if that dream were the ultimate goal of mankind—everyone has to have a car of their own, a bank account, a cell phone, a television set. In twenty-five years the population of China will be 1.5 billion people, and if each of them wants to drive their own private car, China will need 99 million barrels of oil every day. But world production today is only 84 million barrels per day, so the American dream is not possible for the Chinese, nor the Indians or the Vietnamese. The American dream is no longer possible for the Americans. We cannot continue to live like this. It is not a sustainable economy.
- energy use in current operations
- building & construction plans
- library supplies & products used
- service implications
- disaster planning
- cost savings
- program planning
- collection development