Go, Go, Green Resources!!
Sustainable living and green resources are quickly becoming more than just a passing fad. Although people (read: Americans) are not adapting these enviro-friendly ideals as fast as I (and a number of other concerned citizens, organizations, and groups) would like, it is a step in the right direction that more and more people are looking for reliable information regarding things like global warming, recycling, sustainable technology, organic foods and carbon footprints.
In September 2007, after the receipt of a $10 million gift from Thomas Golisano, RIT (the Rochester Institute of Technology) created the Golisano Institute of Sustainability (GIS). RIT is currently in the developmental stages of creating a Ph.D. in sustainability (one of the world’s first) through GIS. The program is designed for “students who are driven to become sustainability change agents within organizations world wide.” It is being funded in part by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, and organization which “seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities.” According to RIT’s GIS website, graduates from the new program will have skills in areas including “environmentally conscious product design and manufacturing, industrial ecology, technology and public policy, environmental science and management, and sustainable business enterprises.” More information about the Golisano Institute of Sustainability can be found here.
In my opinion, this mission fits nicely with RIT’s other programs in engineering, packaging design, and manufacturing. In a Rochester Business Journal story regarding GIS, plans for the construction of a “green” building to house the Institute are underway. For those who might be confused, this does not mean a building painted in green. A “green” building would strive to adhere to sustainable LEED certification.
From a library point of view, what does this mean? In the coming months, we at RIT Libraries will need to verse ourselves in the key catch phrases and resources for sustainability. Acting as knowledge guides, we need to be able to direct our faculty, staff and students to the information they seek regarding this new endeavor. The creation of new pathfinders and research guides are probably in the near future.
A few months ago, I received through a list-serv the link to a web resource guide related to sustainable living and development. Created by the Middletown Thrall Library, the guide contains information related to local resources but is also a great jumping off point for the creation of more academic pathfinders: Going Green.
I am currently “on the hunt” for more sustainability resources, not only in anticipation that eventually these resources will be passed on to patrons during my reference desk shifts, but for my own personal use. I currently follow two blogs with tips about green living and enjoy finding new recommendations about how I can live my life to the fullest while encroaching in the smallest possible way on our irreplaceable planet. Those blogs are here: Green Is Sexy and Eco-Libris. I am also looking for any information about how libraries can become (or are currently becoming) more sustainable. So feel free to leave links and comments!