Sustainability at North Canton Public Library
Submitted by Megan Coder.
The North Canton Public Library is a very busy, exciting, and forward-thinking public library located in Northeast Ohio. They receive 260,000 visitors each year, which equates to 21,000 each month, and 700 each day! They recognize that public libraries are one of the “last truly public places”, and that “we have a responsibility to help...because WE CAN.”
In January 2013, the NCPL was awarded a scholarship from Stark State College and the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation from the Green Business Roundtable for a green business audit.
Through the green business audit, they defined sustainability to mean “meeting the present generation's needs without compromising the future generation's ability to meet its own needs.” Their Sustainability Mission can be easily found on NCPL homepage under "About."
Steps they have taken since the audit include, establishing a green team in December 2013 which comprises of employees from all areas of the library (IT, reference, community relations, children’s department, outreach, technical services, fiscal department, and patron services). They have established areas of focus, which include Green Purchasing, Technology, Energy, Recycling/Waste, Capital Improvements, and Branding.
Some of their many successes since implementing their sustainable initiative include: establishing an internal recycling program, settings printers to double-sided printing as default, using upcycled items in art classes/craft projects, using compostable/recycled content food service items, purchasing office supplies with recycled content, adjusting settings at staff machines and self-checkout machines to stop automatic receipt from printing, replacing leaky restroom faucets, utilizing smart power strips, opting for carbon neutral shipping on outgoing UPS packages, researching an alternative to chemical lawn treatment, and making sustainable practices part of their brand and gaining recognition for this commitment.
The Sustainability Spotlight is a weekly series that highlights community-driven, environmentally sound, and economically responsible programs and projects in libraries and other organizations. You can find more projects in the Sustainability Spotlight Archive or visit NYLA's Sustainability Initiative to learn more about how you can get started with sustainability in your library.