“Library in the Woods”

The Fairplay Public Library in Douglas County Georgia is about to break ground, it will be a brand new library, not just a new library building, but a new library – in a previously unserved area. Very exciting.

The concept for the 15,800-square foot Fairplay Library is to nest among the trees and natural surroundings of the 900-acre Dog River property. The property borders the Dog River Reservoir, the major drinking water source for Douglas County, and the vast majority of the site will be kept in its pristine state to serve as a future passive park and to help protect the water supply. The new library will be on the property’s western side with direct access from Georgia Highway 5. However, the library site will be approximately 1,200 feet into the property in a peaceful and serene setting.

The “library in the woods” concept was proposed by the project’s architects, Ponder & Ponder, Architects, of Norcross, so that the new building would co-exist with the natural surroundings and not interfere with the natural protected setting. The parking lot will be woven between existing trees, and existing topography will be used as much as possible. Native plants will be used in portions of the landscape to eliminate the need for irrigation systems, and rainwater will be captured and used as water features around the building. The outside of the library will complement the natural setting, using stone, wood and other natural elements for the exterior surfaces.

-From a press release issued by Douglas County, GA

The design is aiming for LEED certification and will include:

  • daylight harvesting
  • high-efficiency insulated windows
  • high-efficiency light bulbs
  • high-efficiency HVAC units
  • low water use fixtures
  • insulation for the building is almost double the minimum standard requirement
  • the roof will be heat reflective
  • low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint and stain will be used
  • solar shading will be over the windows
  • building is physically oriented northwest-southeast to utilize the light, but not receive the heat

Go Green @your library in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is doing Go Green @your library as their Summer Reading Program theme this year! “Reading Helps Grow Big Ideas” is their tag line. Teen theme: tnk grEn.

Some of the programs that caught my eye:

Looks like the Memorial Hall Library (Andover, MA) is extending the theme into the Fall, they’ve got some great programs lined up:

  • Greener Living Fair
  • Mercury Thermometer Exchange
  • Community Shredding event
  • Green Transportation program with featured speaker John F. Paul, AAA’s Car Doctor
  • “Climate Change in New England” Led by Tina Woolston, Project Manager for Sustainability at Earthwatch Institute.
  • “How to Live a Greener Lifestyle” presented by Dan Ruben, Executive Director of Boston Green Tourism

This line up gets you thinking – who in your community could come and do a presentation at your library? You don’t have to live near a major metropolitan area to find experts in the fields of conservation, energy efficiency, natural habitats, recycling, eating local… Most speakers in these fields are looking for opportunities to spread the word – invite them in!

Greening Presentation for Onondaga County Public Library 5.7.10

Welcome to Sustainable Libraries

Welcome to Sustainable Libraries. Libraries + Green/Sustainable Buildings is something I strongly believe in.

Libraries connect communities, provide opportunity for anyone interested and are in just about every community in the country – what better place for people to learn how sustainable building practices can change the world.

My day job involves helping libraries find sustainable support to keep their doors open in the form of funding and people power. So it’s all related for me: Sustainable Libraries are libraries that invest in themselves and their legacy throughout their organization – the facility, community connection, collection, technology and staff.

I hope you’ll join me as we watch and collaborate with libraries around the country who are doing their best for their local and global communities.