For years, libraries have been reducing, reusing and recycling by providing books and resources that can be repeatedly shared among many. In an effort to help patrons reduce energy consumption and waste, the Seymour Library in Auburn took its sustainability offerings to a whole new level. The library now offers patrons with the means to actively make changes to personal energy consumption through the use of new items added to the library’s collection.
This Go Green project has been nationally recognized for its distinguished system that provides Kill-A-Watt electricity use monitors, as well as books on the topic of sustainability, for patrons to borrow. The Kill-A-Watt monitors show how much electricity is used by a particular appliance or device and the cost of electricity to power it. After hearing of the success in conserving energy using the monitors at other libraries, the library staff felt this type of ‘green’ technology would be helpful for its patrons and Cayuga County residents.
“We had read in various professional library journals about the popularity of the electricity monitors at other libraries and given our cold climate, we felt that the monitors and books on sustainability would be popular,” said Library Director Lisa Carr. “Providing the monitors free of charge to borrowers will enable more people to take advantage of this technology that some may not know exists.”
With the help of a $2,000 grant from the Cayuga Community Fund, the library purchased 10 Kill-A-Watt electricity monitors and more than 150 books that promote environmental awareness and sustainable living, adding to its vast 120,000 volume archive. The books cover topics such as energy conservation, alternative energy, natural living, minimizing waste, and gardening. They were selected for their practical value, providing information on ways to save money while making choices that are good for the environment.
Library card holders can borrow both the books and monitors similarly to how they borrow other library items. Each monitor is reusable and rechargeable making it a key item that the average homeowner will use only occasionally and can easily share. Patrons can assess efficiency and the cost of the energy consumed by simply connecting any appliance to the monitor, calculating electrical expenses by the day, week, month, even an entire year. The expanded book collection and Kill-A-Watt monitors have provided Cayuga residents with new resources to help make educated decisions about energy use.
“Our Go Green collection shows that we’re in touch with the interests and concerns of our community, and that we’re actively looking to provide solutions to problems,” said Carr. “The added resources have helped our visitors make educated decisions about energy use, reduce their energy consumption, and cut electric bills.”