MVCC Library Strives for Sustainability

MVCC Library Strives for Sustainability – Terra Jacobson, Manager of Library Services.

This past year the MVCC Library has worked together with other campus departments to enact three major sustainability efforts.  In collaboration with the college Foundation, the Center for Sustainability, and our outside vendors we have achieved great success that reduces our waste and helps our bottom line.

Our first effort was completed using efficiencies available in our Library database system, with the direction of Library Assistants, Frank Hoak and Fran Kroll, and Systems Librarian, Marie Martino.  This past fall we enabled our check-out system to send overdue notices via email as opposed to printing and mailing them out.  This has reduced our printing from over 600 pages a month to less than 15 pages a month and has saved the college money in paper, envelopes, and postage.  Now all overdue and billing notices are auto-generated by our system daily and only those patrons without e-mail accounts receive printed notices through “snail mail”. All of our Library’s Circulation Desk employees work hard to make sure each e-mail address is up-to-date and accurate to have the maximum impact on reducing our paper consumption!

The largest effort towards sustainability is our Library book recycling program.  This was enacted at the start of the spring 2012 semester.  As our damaged and old books are removed from our library collection, we donate these books through a literacy partner.  In return we receive a monetary donation towards our college’s Foundation which they can use for scholarships and other programs.  Like they say,” one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Over 200 books have been reused through this program resulting in over $200.00 donated to our college’s Foundation.  This effort is made possible with the assistance of the campus shipping and receiving department and our Library’s Technical Service Department. Their extra effort really pays off for the Foundation and in our goal of becoming a more sustainable Library.

Our most recent sustainability effort was the collaboration with the Center for Sustainability.  The Center purchased duplexers for our Library printers to help reduce paper waste.  We recently installed these new duplexers in our machines with the assistance of the Help Desk staff and our printing vendor TBS.  Not only does this save paper, but it saves students $.05 for every two pages they print when they print back-to-back as opposed to single-sided. This system was recently installed in mid-July and is up and rolling for the new group of students this fall.  We do not have any statistics yet for this effort, but we hope to save on the amount of paper students’ use as a result of the new duplexing printers.

The Library is proud to do our part with sustainability efforts on our campus, and we continue to look for new ways to reduce waste and change our practices to be even more sustainable.  These little changes make a big difference for our Library, our patrons, and our bottom line.  We think it is important to be a good steward of the resources that the college provides us and our sustainability efforts have made that even more possible.