Posts Tagged ‘green’
On Wednesday I had the chance to attend NeoCon East, the “Premier Design Exposition for Commercial Interiors on the East Coast” in Baltimore, MD. I had fun checking out options for the library renovation, seeing design-y things, and experiencing my first non-library exhibit hall. Below are some observations and a few of my favorite things.
Library exhibit hall vs. design expo
- There were definitely more men at NeoCon than I’ve seen at ALA/library conferences. The age demographic there seemed to skew younger as well (although I’m not awesome at guessing ages). Most booths had both male and female representatives available to talk to customers and walk them through the floor.
- I almost hesitate to say this because I don’t want to offend anyone, but the NeoCon attendees were dressed a lot nicer than people I have seen at ALA/library conferences. I am generalizing here (on both sides) but I picked up on it right away. Maybe the designers/design students at NeoCon are more concerned with their visual aesthetic than librarians. There were also a hell of a lot more women in stilettos and other fancy shoes. Lots of suits. Lots of black.
- At four PM, free booze magically appeared. Everywhere! I saw a keg on the exhibit hall floor and multiple tables of bottled beer and wine. I got carded (what the what!) when I grabbed a glass. It was pretty cool – once people started drinking, everyone was sitting in the different pieces of furniture talking and hanging out. It was almost like the “sales pitch” was over and everyone was just having a good time. You could really tell which seating options worked for social atmospheres – those were the ones people gravitated towards.
- The NeoCon swag was pretty similar to ALA/library conferences. Lots of exhibitors had freebies – tote bags galore, stress balls, plastic watches, iPad covers, pens, candy, lip balm, etc. I didn’t see as many crazed people running around collecting ten of everything. People seemed a bit more reserved. That said, the one giveaway I really did want (a sweet canvas Herman Miller bag) ran out before I could get one. Luckily, our HM rep is awesome and is going to mail me one!
These are a few of my favorite things
Integra Bay Chair – My colleagues and I loved this seating option. It comes in 4 different seat widths and the tablet arm holds 300 pounds (their promo materials show someone standing on it!). You can add upholstered or wood arms, but I enjoyed the armless version. It’s fairly easy to push around and the cup holder feature is nice because it doesn’t eat up your limited tablet space (plus, you won’t accidentally knock your coffee over onto your laptop). I also really like the contrasting fabrics in this floor model. The pattern and solid combination seems to highlight the shape and accentuate the curves in this more fluid/free-form chair. I can see us incorporating some of these throughout our new library to offer a diversity of seating options for students. Maybe in bright accent colors?
Kimball Fit – Oh. My. Last week I was reviewing the furniture drawings for my workspace in the new library and our furniture supplier showed me the Kimball Fit “sling lounge” as a potential option (we also looked at the Herman Miller Tato, Tatino, Tatone and the Fatboy original beanbag). I’m looking for some fun pieces to use in my co-working space for creative group brainstorming sessions with library student employees/staff. I was really looking forward to testing a Fit at NeoCon and was getting bummed out as we walked through and didn’t see any. Then, at the same time, my colleague Greg and I spotted three of them. We pointed, looked at each other with glee, and headed over to test them out. You can probably tell from the huge smile on my face – I loved it! It was awkward sitting down the first time because you’re not quite sure it will hold you, but the material is stretchy and supportive. It feels almost like you are settling back into a hammock, really fun. Lightweight, can nest together for storage, and as we were leaving, we even saw two people sitting in one together! They do have a larger footprint, but I certainly think I could squeeze one of these into my new workspace!
Leland International – This was a really fun booth and I saw two of my favorite pieces there, the Ebb Bench (hollow) and the Brit Bench (blue). You can use connectors for both of them to hook up multiple pieces in different shapes, but I honestly liked them both as single, standalone pieces. The Ebb bench is very minimalist and modern. It would be great for hallways and the representative said they have done some in airports (although then they have to cap the ends). You can get it entirely upholstered, in wood veneer, or in wood veneer with upholstered “pads” (my fav). I was thinking this would work well in the new juvenile/curriculum center section, although we might have an issue with small children trying to climb inside. The Brit bench was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I think it would be perfect for the library entryway, where we are putting in a media wall with digital signage and inspirational quotes. This type of sculptural bench doesn’t lend itself to long waits, which is fine because it will be somewhat drafty in the entryway. At the same time, it provides a perfect spot to rest with your bags to meet someone before heading into the library. I love the three “prongs” too, it gives the bench a more social feel because you’re facing someone else any way you sit on it.
izzy+ Dewey 6-Top Table – I mean, it’s a whiteboard-topped table, what more can I say? Awesome.
I took a bunch of other photos at the show which you can see on my Flickr page. Leave a comment here or there and let me know which items you love, hate, could envision in libraries. Have any of you been to a trade show/exhibit floor beyond library conferences? Did you enjoy it? What was different and what was similar?
* A big thanks to Supply Source for inviting us to and escorting us around NeoCon!*
I have quite a few things going on at the moment, including:
- Emerging Leaders team project. I’m working with 3 other ELs from Kansas, New York & South Carolina on a survey for millennials regarding association (ALA) wants and needs. Once our survey is ready, I’ll be begging you all to take it and/or forward it to your library friends. Thanks in advance! We will be sharing the results during a poster session at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.
- Peer-reviewed academic outreach article for the 2009 scholarly print edition of NMRT Footnotes. I just got my reviewer comments back and have until the end of March to rework and send the article back to the editors. It’s my first shot at peer-reviewed, so we’ll see!
- ‘Locally made’ encyclopedia article for the SAGE Green Consumerism reference project. Basically I have to describe ‘locally made’ in 1,500 words by May 1.
- SSHELCO meeting panel discussion. I’m coordinating a panel discussion for the 2009 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Library Cooperative (SSHELCO) meeting on academic library outreach. We’re going to be sending out a survey shortly to ask about your outreach questions, which will then be addressed during the session. Stay tuned for more!
- My first ‘Job of a Lifetime’ column for C&RL News. The first interview will be conducted shortly with publication sometime this spring if everything goes as planned.
I’m also working on an additional tab for the top of my blog where I’ll be posting examples of some of my print design work, just for the sake of having it all collected somewhere for future reference. Maybe others will be able to learn or draw inspiration from my work. I know I like to see other designs when I’m working on a project of my own. I will eventually be holding up my end of the bargain with a post about Harvey Milk (for the Dorney/Rath blog bash – See Ashley’s post in the meantime).
Tickets have been ordered to see Neko Case, New Found Glory & Bayside, and The National this spring (different shows, of course)! On that note, I’m out! Tell me, what are you currently working on?
Friday I am presenting at the 2008 ACRL/NY Symposium “The 21st Century Library: Targeting the Trends” at Baruch College in NYC. I am doing a non-traditional poster session. By non-traditional, I mean that I do not actually have a poster (say what?!). I do not have a poster because Amtrak guidelines would not allow me to bring my large poster board on the train. Due to the fact that my non-poster presentation is about practicing environmentally friendly methods of academic library outreach, I decided to practice what I preach (or do my best to try). I am taking mass transit from Lancaster to NYC as well as within the city, my non-poster did not require expensive printing or foam core spray mounting (rendering the poster board virtually useless after one presentation), and is fashioned from recycled materials.
As for handouts, I was supposed to print 170. Instead, I printed 75, on 30% post-consumer content recycled paper and I have sign up sheets for when/if I run out. Anyone who signs up during the Symposium will get a personal email from me including an electronic PDF of my one page handout, for their online viewing pleasure. Handouts are also available here on my blog and on the Symposium website for interested parties.
Please feel free to use any of these materials in your own way/shape/form. Many of my ideas and inspirations came from various blogs and articles, most of which I tried to link to here. Thank you!
My non-poster session materials:
I’ll be spending the next few days in Valley Forge, PA at the PaLA Annual Conference Pennsylvania Libraries: Leading for Life. I’m very excited because I’m going to be doing a lot of different things there. I’ll be presenting a poster session on Monday outside of the exhibit hall (titled “The Strength of Personal Connections” – Talking about some upcoming library outreach methods being developed for Millersville University Library for the next 1 to 3 years). I volunteered to work at the conference registration desk for a few hours on Monday, which should give me a nice chance to meet some PaLA people. And I have kindly been invited by Mary Garm, PaLA President, to speak briefly at the PaLA Annual Business Meeting regarding my selection as an ALA Emerging Leader. Very fun!
Two people I’m very much looking forward to hearing from are speaker/author/professor Joe Janes (during the College and Research Division luncheon) and author Mary Doria Russell (I had the pleasure of reviewing her recent book “Dreamers of the Day” back in January). And as if that wasn’t enough, they are doing a Hollywood Librarian pajama party! Whoooo!
There are tons of good sessions to pick from. A few that I am really looking forward to are: “State Award Winners Share Their Marketing Success Stories”, “Reading People: Successful Advocacy for Savvy Trustees”, “Creating a Brand Identity to Market Information Services” , and of course Conference 101 and the New Members Reception. Also, a fellow 2009 Emerging Leader, Leigh Anne Vrabel (Senior Librarian, Reference Services @ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh) is presenting a session on Sunday titled “Adding “2.0” Without Subtracting “Library”: A Series of Wild, Woolly and Wonderful Experiments with Adult Reference Services.”
One of the cool things PaLA is doing this year is having their session handouts available online before the conference for attendees to print out depending on which sessions they plan on attending. This is a great idea because it saves money for the presenters (printing 50-100 copies of handouts is not cheap!), it saves paper (yay for the environment!), and best of all, the handouts are now available to anyone on the web! So those of you who can’t attend the conference can still benefit by taking a look at the session handouts available here!
If you’ll be there, find me! I’ll also be posting a reflection/materials/photos about my poster session sometime late next week.
So today was my presentation for RIT Libraries’ second annual Food For Thought day. Food For Thought is discussed more in detail on the Library Garden blog featuring an interview with Jon Jiras, a colleague and one of the event team leads. The presentation was titled “Seeing Green: Options for a Sustainable Existence” and was co-presented by College of Science Liaison Adwoa Boateng. Our web resource handout (which we decided to have exclusively online in the spirit of sustainability) is located on the Food For Thought website.
This was a “brown bag session” which meant it was only one hour and participants were encouraged to bring their lunch. We also determined that our session was going to be very informal and that participants would be encouraged to chime in with ideas, opinions, or information about current environmental projects. First I discussed some ways to make a difference in your home, at work, regarding food, and transportation. Then Adwoa took the stage to discuss some projects people at RIT are working at, and then Stephen Garland talked about the green lung project he has been working on.
I’m not going to rehash the information here, because our slides are linked above. I do, however, want to talk about the presentation in general. To be honest, the feedback we received was not very good. We handed out evaluations, and the few that were returned gave us okay “scores” but the comments were particularly revealing. Participants wanted more detailed information. They wanted local resources rather than generalized ideas.
You might think that I would be offended by these comments. In fact, I am excited and impressed. I went into this presentation thinking that people might need the basics, just main ideas about things they can do to reduce their impact. But I obviously didn’t give the general public enough credit! It seems that the recent popularization of “green” eco-friendly living trends is really effective. I think people attended this event already had the basics down and were looking for the next step. This is wonderful news! I hope that people decide to act on the information they have gleaned, regardless if they have gotten it from some corporation wanting to hop on the bandwagon of sustainability or if they have gotten it from somewhere more impartial.
I wish I could work on a second session of more detailed information, especially regarding resources in the Rochester area, as I am familiar with many. Alas, Food For Thought is a one day event and this was my only chance, as I’ll be leaving at the end of the month. One idea that seemed to generate a lot of discussion was the possibility of creating a carpool/ridesharing system for staff. It was determined that there is already an outlet for this for students, but as one participant pointed out, “We’re poor too!” At RIT, we are launching into an extensive multi-year transportation plan, and hopefully more sustainable methods are being incorporated into that system (biking, trails, carpooling options). It would be awesome to see incentives for employees who bike or rideshare to work, as institutional support can go a long way both financially and in terms of staff mental health and institution reputation.
Perhaps I will receive some more evaluations later in the week. Overall, I am impressed with RIT staff & faculty knowledge of these issues and very glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of the 2008 Food For Thought!
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!