Information Update - Fall 2011

Library's Green Team's First Year in Review

If you have been in the library within the past year you undoubtedly have seen many of the Green Team's projects being implemented. The library's Green Team was formed in the fall semester of 2010 to educate students and the community about the importance of sustainability and to promote sustainable practices within the library.
Green Team
Green Team members George (from left), Sheli McHugh, Kristen Yarmey and Bonnie Oldham volunteered to clear a section of the Lackawanna Heritage Trail. The trail is owned and maintained by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority.
In just one short year since its formation, the team has made leaps and bounds. In the library there are now 15 sets of color-coded recycling and trash bins that reduce the intermingling of recyclable goods. We have replaced all of the student and public printers with duplex printers in order to conserve paper. We also installed a purified water bottle filling station and are selling BPA-Free "Save Our World" reusable water bottles in order to cut back on the use of disposable plastic bottles.
 
In addition, the Green Team reached out to students and faculty to collaborate on some of its projects. This year students from Professor Mary Beth Holmes' TV production course made public service announcements regarding the library's sustainability efforts which run on the library's TVs throughout the day. Communication majors from Jan Kelly's, Ph.D., Senior Seminar helped to research, design and market the "Save Our World" water bottles. In addition, students from Jessica Nolan's, Ph.D., social psychology class used the library's "Save Our World" water bottles as an example of how one can reduce their "plastic footprint" displayed at their poster session held during the University's Earth Week Fair.
 
The Green Team also participated in Earth Week activities held April 14-22. The library displayed the Green Team's accomplishments using recycled materials and poster paper on the first floor. The library asked for student feedback on "How they would like to see the library be more green?" and "What are you doing in your personal life to be more green?" On the second floor of the library was a tower built from reams of paper to raise awareness about how much paper is printed in a period of one week at the library. In order to cut back on wasted paper, the library saved all of the contents of the paper recycling bins near the second-floor computer lab. Throughout the week a wasted paper display grew at the top of the staircase roughly showing how much paper is often misused due to unnecessary printing or print jobs which were left at the printers. Sharon Finnerty, media resources coordinator, created a blog post about some recommended videos in the collection related to sustainability and other green practices. Barb Evans, circulation and access services clerk, put together a book display of resources in our collection related to sustainability, which was displayed in the Quiet Study Room. Lastly, an Environmental Art Show was held in the Heritage Room. The art show consisted of various types of artwork made by students, faculty and staff of the University and displayed photography and paintings of nature, wildlife and pollution, as well as mixed media artworks displaying environmental messages. The art show's reception was well attended, and the visitors enjoyed the opportunity to ask the artists questions about their artwork. The library plans to continue the Environmental Art Show for Earth Week next year as well.
 
The Green Team is also committed to giving back to the community. Over the summer the library adopted a section of the Lackawanna Valley Heritage Authority's "Heritage Trail." Members of the Green Team volunteer their time to help maintain the trail by cleaning up litter and sorting what recyclables they find near the trail. The Green Team currently volunteers one weekend a month in order to maintain the trail.
 
The library's faculty has also committed part of their scholarship to sustainability. Kristen Yarmey, digital services librarian, presented at the 2010 New York Archives Conference held in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on "Advocating for Sustainability in Archives, Communities, and the Profession: A Behavioral Approach," and at the 2009 Joint Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists and the Council of State Archivists held in Austin, Texas, on "Green Archives, Green Communities." Sheli McHugh, cataloging and metadata librarian, and George Aulisio, public services librarian, will conduct a 60-minute workshop on using alternative education techniques to promote sustainability at the 8th International Conference on Sustainability held in Vancouver, Canada. Sheli and George will also present a poster on the Green Team at the 2011 Pennsylvania Library Association's Annual Conference held in State College.
 
Lastly, the Green Team will look for students interested in joining the team for the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters. Obligations include coming to a monthly meeting and sharing your ideas on how the library can better reach out to students and what improvements students would like to see in the library. Students interested in joining the Green Team should email George.Aulisio@scranton.edu.
 
George Aulisio
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