May 26, 2017

Blueprint for Resilience: Toward Libraries that Give Back | Editorial

Sometimes, just envisioning something can set change in motion. That’s what’s happening at the Belgrade Community Library in Montana. That little library was named LJ’s Best Small Library in America in 2015 and effectively leveraged the honor for local interest and investment. A few years later, the library, under the leadership of Director Gale Bacon, continues to make the most of its opportunities, now via design that is helping to set the community’s sights on a possible future.

Net Positive | Library Design 2017

Libraries are a key element in community ecosystems. Now imagine a library that actually is an environmental ecosystem of its own. The furthest reaching green building certification uses the metaphor of the flower—thriving within a given habitat by pulling nutrients from the soil, using sunlight for photosynthesis, and depending on the sky for rain—to describe the requirements for its green building program. Each element of the certification is called a petal, and each represents a major part of the eco­system: energy, water, and materials. The International ­Living Future Institute administers the Living Building Challenge.

The Future of the Planet | Designing the Future

As society faces what many now call the Anthropocene age, the impacts of climate change and humankind’s role in it will influence, literally, everything.

Living Libraries: Green that gives back | Editorial

We talk a lot about resilience when we discuss library sustainability. It is one of the trends identified by Miguel Figueroa, an LJ 2005 Mover & Shaker, in the recent “Forecasting the Future of Libraries” report. It encompasses a broad swath of library work—dynamic programming, deep and robust community commitment to the well-being of the institution, and facility design that can withstand the very real threats of extreme weather change that comes with global warming. Resilience also means creating buildings that don’t drain precious natural resources.