Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘sustainable

In the hopper…

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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?

Written by Erin Dorney

March 5, 2009 at 4:01 AM

2008 ACRL/NY Symposium: Green Academic Library Outreach

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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:

Web Handout

Print Handout

Sign Up Sheet

Handy-dandy resources:

Creative Commons License

Written by Erin Dorney

December 5, 2008 at 4:27 AM

Book Review: Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living by John & Geri McPherson.

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mcphersonThis book is seriously hardcore, or perhaps for the seriously hardcore. Its chapters cover the basics of life in the wilderness (“Primitive Fire and Cordage,” “Primitive, Semipermanent Shelters,” “Primitive Wilderness Cooking Methods”) as well as the gritty details of making it in the great outdoors. Readers looking for step-by-step instructions on how to brain-tan a buckskin, field dress a fresh kill, or eat a mouse without catching Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome have come to the right place.

The authors, John & Geri McPherson, boast respectable qualifications. John, with eight years of experience as a paratrooper, and his wife Geri are in their fourth year of teaching primitive skills to the survival instructors of the U.S. Army Special Operations Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) school. Since 1978 they have lived on their own homestead complete with log home, outhouse, gravity-fed water and lacking electricity.

The book features over 600 step-by-step photos (no, I didn’t count them). However, most of the photos leave much to be desired. A higher quality color camera would have been a wise investment. The conversational writing style is bearable while the photo captions are continually unclear and unwieldy. But let’s face it folks, if you’re choosing to read this book, you’re not interested in a well-written literary tale about a fantasy night out camping in the woods; you need the dirty, descriptive details and you need them NOW.

The book bills itself perfectly, giving readers exactly what it promises. Hopefully, if I ever find myself in the woods with nothing but my bare hands and have to survive, I will have had the librarian-esque foresight to cache this book in a stone-lined, clay-sealed pit for future reference. Alas, it’s doubtful…

Many thanks to Mini Book Expo for Bloggers and Ulysses Press for this free copy of Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living.

Written by Erin Dorney

December 1, 2008 at 2:06 AM

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What I’ve got to say about: Poverty

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I feel as though I am back in my undergraduate Oceanography course, writing about a topic I have no firsthand experience with. The mere fact that I was able to attend college is an indicator of my financially stable existence. Fortunately, poverty is not something that has touched my life. I have become used to a fairly comfortable lifestyle; extremely comfortable when compared to many of the inhabitants of this planet. Many of my family members and friends fall into the huge chunk of Americans currently cringing while they watch their retirement accounts falter before their very eyes.

Dare we gasp, bitch, and moan about the now prolonged date of our smooth and celebrated exit from the working class masses? I must insist that we all consider the fact that in some nations, women will never be able (or allowed) to have careers, children will die of hunger and thirst, and people will be forced to work until their dying day, not one settling back into relaxing, fishing-trip-filled recollections of their time here on Earth.

When I think about how most Americans financially live beyond our means, I am continually amazed by the fact that even our bare-minimum-means are so very high and mighty. I am not advocating asceticism here, but perhaps the simple awareness that while we contemplate our Wal-Mart purchases, thousand dollar gas guzzling vehicles, and credit-card-fueled vacations, there are people out there living in environments so unstable that they don’t know whether or not they will survive the night. They don’t know whether or not their children will be allowed to grow up healthy, unmolested, or sheltered while we choose whether to buy a snowmobile, motorboat, or ocean-front summer home.

America is out of control. I’d like for us to regain control of ourselves, of our country, and of its actions. Today I request that you consider doing two things:

1. Loosen up your expectations. If Americans didn’t expect such an overblown lifestyle, other Americans wouldn’t adhere to the “by any mean necessary” standards of achieving them. It’s a cycle that can only be broken through the elimination of greed, conceit, consumption, revenge, hate, and the obsession of power.

2. Join me in standing up to poverty through participating. Educate. Donate money if you can’t afford time. See what they see. And this November, count your vote for the presidential nominee who address poverty rather than the one who apparently feels it can be overlooked.

Written by Erin Dorney

October 15, 2008 at 9:00 AM

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Sustainability Presentation.

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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!

Written by Erin Dorney

June 10, 2008 at 5:57 PM

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Go, Go, Green Resources!!

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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!

Written by Erin Dorney

December 17, 2007 at 9:05 PM

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