Master Planning: Assessing for the Future (continued)

As part of the assessment, the University also examined expected funding streams available from the State, as well as local property taxes, and compared them with our building and service needs so that we can more efficiently plan and spend for the future. The demographic analysis examined the socioeconomic characteristics of each neighborhood using the latest Census and Library usage data, creating maps and demographic profiles of each branch service area.

Sustainability assessment — Working with Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S), the Library selected staff members to receive sustainability training in order to make the Library a greener place and a more sustainable organization. As part of the evaluation process, members of the Board, senior administrators and staff participated in a dumpster dive in early 2011 whereby they sorted through the Library’s trash to determine what is actually thrown out and what could be reused. We also engaged with the non-profit organization Better World Books to help limit the number of books and resources that wind up in landfills. Rather than discarding outdated or damaged books, we now attempt to sell them online. Those books that cannot be sold are recycled, providing us with a highly efficient approach to keeping the Library’s collection fresh.

The Library feels a need to be a leader in this area so that it can be an effective source of education for others in the community seeking to be more environmentally conscious — both in their personal lives and in their business operations.