American libraries in a global context

by DeVoe, Teresa A

Abstract (Summary)
This paper positions American libraries within a global ecology of resource consumption and waste. With regard to environmental sustainability, the provision of information in print and electronic formats represents a drain on natural resources, and this paper explores various ways of measuring it. Using a mixed methods approach, the author calculates an Ecological Footprint of an average American public library, synthesizes primary and secondary sources to describe key areas of the American library’s global supply chain, and reviews available resources, which can assist librarians and information professionals in addressing their institutions’ environmental sustainability. This exploratory study finds that although the goods and services provided by libraries and information centers do carry environmental impacts, there are a growing number of options for institutions to eliminate wastes at their source, recycle, and practice socially responsible purchasing.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Paul Solomon

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:librarians social responsibility environment book production microcomputers equipment recyling


Date of Publication:04/05/2007

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