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Our Green Library

The University Library takes environmental issues seriously and sustainability issues inform our decision making and policies. We have signed up to the Green Libraries Manifesto.

We are continually looking for ways to improve, and welcome questions and suggestions from students and staff across the university.

Some positive things we have been doing:
  • Work with The Book Rescuers, who sell our withdrawn books with a percentage going to the African Children's Educational Trust. Unsellable books are donated to charity or recycled.
  • Our Collection Development and Management Policy prioritises purchase of electronic resources over paper where available.
  • Promotion of and participation in ARU Green - the university's programme to encourage sustainable behaviour. Library staff are encouraged to register for this scheme and the library team is currently ranked 5th across the university for average points per person.
  • Library 'Green Champions' attend Sustainability Collective meetings to work alongside other areas of the university in developing ideas and sharing information. Green Champions promote sustainability related events and initiatives to Student & Library Services staff.
  • Online Book a Librarian and Book a Library Guide appointments provide support equivalent to that available on campus, reducing the need for students to travel to campus for support.
  • Opening hours adjusted to match use, saving power overnight at times of year when the library was little used after midnight. Staff switch off electrical devices when leaving where possible/appropriate.
  • Removed fines for overdue items unless they are recalled, automatically renew items where possible, and allow return via post - thereby reducing the need to travel to campus to return items.
  • Agile & Flexible working agreements allow some staff to work from home, reducing travel.
  • Regular cross-site meetings are conducted via videoconference.
  • In 2019 ARU declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency and committed to reduce meat consumption on campus by 50% by 2026. Our buffets are vegetarian-led, with non-vegetarian options available as a higher price point. We request non-disposable cups, plates, etc. for catered events.
  • We have increased the number of plants within our libraries for environmental and wellbeing reasons.
  • We regularly have displays highlighting sustainability issues e.g. an Earth Month display.
  • Purchase sustainably produced stationery and promote environmental awareness via our library marketing items e.g. recycled paper, recycled cardboard pens, reusable bags, Keep Cups.
  • Reuse packaging materials where possible and appropriate.
  • Reduced deliveries between libraries from 5 to 3 days a week.

Please let us know if you have any ideas or questions regarding the environmental impact of the library or role it can play in promoting sustainability.
Page Last Reviewed: 5th March 2024 by Diane Hilton.