Raising patrons’ awareness of green issues goes further than setting an example. Sometimes patrons come to us specifically seeking information about green living, but many patrons who come across a life-changing piece of information in a library foyer or at a service desk might not have previously been looking to have their minds changed. Luckily, there are many resources available out there for libraries who want to get environmental issues into their patrons’ hands and heads. The printable brochures and fact sheets on these sites may use paper and power now, but by raising awareness, they’ll save ten times what they expend in the future!
If everyone on Earth lived like you, how many Earths would humanity need to sustain itself? This is where to find out! Less famously, the Footprint Network has some great brochures available to print and pass out to patrons. But if you need a good way to bring home the impact of individual choices on the environment, especially for an Earth Day or awareness program, this is a great way to do that.
Among the most polished purveyors of printable material on the web, 350.org has some beautiful and well-engineered fact sheets that will catch your patrons’ eyes and lead to enlightening discussions. The rest of the site is useful, too, and includes several ways to volunteer with the activist organization.
Light pollution constitutes a double-whammy: not only do bright lights burn fuel, but light pollution destroys the darkness that is so vital to the life and daily cycles of wild animals. The printables on DarkSky.org both raise awareness and offer strategies for saving the skies, and by extension, burning fewer fossil fuels.
As any children’s librarian will tell you, don’t mess with the moms! This clean air group offers an extensive library of printable fact sheets and online resources. Specific topics range from indoor air quality and asthma in the Latino community to ocean acidification. Be aware that many of the graphics on this site are large and take a long time to load!
Dr. Pop is a website committed to online education. In 2010, several UCLA scholars created and contributed some lovely fact sheets and a very snazzy printable brochure dedicated to constructing a greener economy. While much of the information they produced is specific to Los Angeles, the brochure could be used as is by almost any library.
As you might expect, the USDE’s website is a goldmine of online information. But what about printables? Though there are no brochures, the department’s Energy Saver Guide is available for free here in both English and Spanish. Download, print and catalog to use less paper, or loan it as a Kindle-ready ebook! Either way, it’s a handy guide and one of the most useful resources of its kind on the Web.
-Submitted by Anna Call