What If Your Library Can't Go Green?: Promoting Wellness in Libraries

What If Your Library Can't Go Green?: Promoting Wellness in Libraries

Laura Bohuski (Western Kentucky University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9825-1.ch002


Environmentalism and climate change are hot topics of conversation in society today, but libraries have long been a supporter of the environmental movement and going green. Often libraries have shown their agreement with green movement ideas through the construction or renovation of green libraries. However, with decreasing budgets, many libraries cannot afford new construction or the fees associated with becoming green certified. How then can libraries continue to support the green movement while on a budget? This chapter argues that while green certification is a good goal to have, if libraries would switch their focus to the wellness of their employees and patrons instead, then libraries could still have a positive impact on the well-being of their communities and enact healthy and environmentally sound initiatives, while also staying within their budget.
Chapter Preview

A Brief History Of The Green Movement And Libraries

The earliest predecessors of the modern green movement in the United States can be found at the end of the nineteenth century with the rise of the conservation movement. The conservation movement focused on the protection of wildlife areas, the creation of national parks and forests, and urban expansion. The first governmental regulations on air and water quality would not exist until after World War II with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, which was followed almost a decade later by the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 (WGBH Education Foundation [WGBH], n.d.). In 1970 the US government established the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to regulate environmental policy at the federal level. The creation of the EPA also heralded the creation of other government agencies meant to protect the environment. While the government was creating new agencies for environmental regulation, numerous green movements were growing within different areas of the US population, and the library community was one such area.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Clerestory: An exterior wall of a room or a building that rises above adjacent buildings or rooftops and has windows to let in natural light and or fresh air.

Daylighting: The use of daylight, through the placement of windows, skylights, and reflective surfaces to provide sufficient internal lighting.

Biophilic Design: A concept used during building to increase people’s connections with the natural environment both in homes and in office spaces. This is accomplished through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions within the building design.

Green Architecture: Building ideology that promotes energy conservation, the use of reusable and safe building materials, and placing a building in regard to the sites environmental impact.

Going Green: The steps taken to reduce an organizations or persons environmental impact. This includes any steps from conserving energy to reducing carbon emissions, or even recycling.

LEED: Acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a building certification program managed by the U.S. Green Building Council that focuses on improving environmental and human health through the creation of better buildings.

Well-Being: Experiencing an overall state of happiness and good health.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: