Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sustainability Planning at Ball State Libraries

Ball State University’s Strategic Plan 2007-2012 (Goal 4 and Objective F) calls for the University Council on the Environment, through its representative members, to create sustainability plans for each university unit. The University’s vision and commitment are summarized by its Sustainability Statement,

To begin planning and establishing guidelines to encourage sustainability initiatives within the University Libraries, the Dean of University Libraries recently appointed a Sustainability Committee. The initial four members are Dixie D. DeWitt, Bradley D. Faust, Suzanne S. Rice, and Sharon A. Roberts. At a later time, the Committee may expand to include more personnel.

The Sustainability Committee’s purpose is to promote awareness of sustainability initiatives among the Libraries’ personnel and to take positive steps to incorporate greater environmental awareness into the operations of the Libraries. These include steps for energy conservation, enhanced recycling, and conservation of natural resources.

The University Libraries have made efforts over the past several years to “think green.” Some of the actions we have already taken include:

· Encouraging double-sided copying to reduce use of paper
· Encouraging students to save files electronically as PDFs rather than print documents
· Installing new energy-saving florescent bulbs
· Installing sensors in rooms so lights are turned off when rooms are not in use
· Providing recycle containers on every floor
· Recycling of photocopy toner cartridges; recycling paper as scrap paper and note pads
· Requesting students to limit printing to 30 pages per day
· Setting thermostats at 72° throughout the Libraries
· Using equipment that features the Energy Star or other power management functionality to conserve electricity
· Using teleconferencing in lieu of travel
· Encouraging the Libraries’ personnel to carpool to work

We are committed to these initiatives and look forward to achieving higher levels of sustainability.

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