Cleveland Heights-University Heights
"Opening Doors, Opening Minds"
Heights Libraries are a model of sustainability!
Your library card is a "green" card. The most basic library activities are, by definition, sustainable: we share books, dvds, cds, Playaways, magazines, puppets, games, and computers, buildings for ongoing use and reuse!
Add to this the new "electronic" downloadable media and databases that have replaced hard copy and that provide the same experiences/information without the need for paper or plastic media. Libraries create an amazing savings to the environment in terms of production, use of both renewable and non-renewable resources and ultimately discard. Digital items are always available and never need to be recycled or end up in land-fills!
- We cooperate nationally, state, regionally and locally. Supplies and services come through partnerships with:
- American Library Association
- Ohio Library Council
- North East Ohio Regional Library System
- State Library of Ohio
- Clevnet computer consortium in 9 counties and 31 library systems
- International Inter library loan through OCLC
- We have obtained a great deal of grant funding for programs by cooperating with other agencies including the CH-UH School District, Starting Point, the State Library of Ohio, and many foundations.
- We offer public commons space for meetings and dissemination of public information.
- We are an agent of transformation for our citizens from cradle to grave. We bring the world to their neighborhood with Jobs, Education, Literacy and Consumer Help. We provide government information including tax forms, HEAP forms and CMHA Lottery applications.
- We have greatly reduced travel and carbon footprint by using online training and webinars, with many originating at our library.
Green buildings, getting greener
"The greenest buildings are existing buildings" – we keep re-using and updating our
facilities – Noble, Coventry UH and the YMCA. We invest in our neighborhoods!
- Children's shelving at Lee Road is recycled from Akron Public Library
- Reusing 1930s tables at Noble Library
- Waterless urinals at Lee and lights that go off without movement
- Shades for windows built into design keep heat down at Lee Road-not just for good looks
- We use low VOC paints
- Low emission carpets were installed in Lee Road, University Heights and Noble
- High tech cooling and heating
- Thermal glass at Lee Road
- Shifted to more efficient printer models and fewer printers in 2010
- Virtualization of computer software completed this year translates into savings in hardware costs, utilities, and carbon emissions
- The HVAC systems at Main and Noble are energy efficient.
- Practice sustainable gardening in landscaping beds at all buildings. No chemicals in landscaping.
Use of public transportation and bicycles encouraged.
- All our buildings easily accessible by bus & by foot and bike racks are available.
- We provide RTA information for riders.
Renew, Recycle, Reuse
- We reduced paper consumption with document storage online for staff.
- Eliminated 12,000 plastic bags used each year since 2008. Bin for recycled bags that customers can take or contribute at checkout.
- Encourage recycling of paper with Abitibi bin for public and library use.
- Recycle cans and papers used by staff.
- Recycle old public computers by moving to staff computers, then to recycling.
- Reuse book boxes for many purposes.
- "Magazine exchange" box at UH Library
- Craft programs have re-used materials normally thrown away such as magazines, old CDs, paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes, etc.
- Lost and found items not claimed are put into book sale or Goodwill for reuse.
- The book sale turns unwanted items into income for community betterment, donates to low income areas and schools.
- Food for Fines program accepted non-perishable food items in lieu of fines for local emergency food bank.
We buy locally
- Out of 800 vendors we worked with last year, 530 of them were located in Ohio, most in Cleveland. (Based on account address).
- We continue to be a distribution point for City Fresh. City Fresh bundles and distributes locally grown organic produce. We have also offered cooking demonstrations using some of the items being distributed each week.
- Our Community Office is used by many small businesses that otherwise would have to have their own office space.
- Our summer garden table is donated to by many members of our community who have an overabundance of flowers or food that would otherwise go to waste and those that don't have benefit from the bounty.
- Use local vendors whenever possible including:
- Findlay Landscaping
- Sustainable Landscaping LLC
- Bremec on the Heights
- Seitz Agin Hardware
- Cedar Center Hardware
- Contempo Cuisine
- Appetite Catering
- Studio Techne Architects
- VGS Cleaning Services
- ...and many more.
- Community Gardening Grant in 2010, Children's Garden Grant in 2009 highlights local ecosystem and raising food not lawns.
We cultivate and harvest the Heights' greatest resource: our people!
- We employ 140 people in CH-UH including many high school students who get their first job with us. People find jobs using library resources.
- We have many educational and volunteer opportunities.
Let's get creative:
Ideas we are considering for energy savings include:
- Use of wind and solar power.
- Replacing windows on older buildings where possible.
- Continuing to use existing buildings in new ways.
- Optimizing computer virtualization to save time and electricity.
- Allowing other organizations to use our lawns and turn them into productive growing spaces.
- Partnering with more agencies and organizations.
- Continuing to reduce paper usage.
Vision for 20 years from now?
- Continue to lead the state and country in our services.
- Insure walkability and use of public transit to reach our buildings.
- Continue to seek energy efficiency in all we do—wind, solar, geothermal.
- Renovate and reuse buildings when possible.
- Adapt to new audiences as they appear.
- Continue to fill gaps in learning opportunities not provided by schools or other institutions.
- Reduce wasted resources: lawns, parking lots, roof tops.
- Continue to train staff and emphasize continuing education to keep up with new trends.
What can community do to help?
Understand our uniqueness as a public library and our role in civic engagement. We do not do what school libraries do and we do not do what academic libraries do. We provide open access and intellectual freedom.
Listening to our community!
If you have any more ideas feel free to contact our Director:
2345 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118