Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reading information studies: Planetary Management

Folks following this weblog might want to check out another UW-Madison SLIS effort, "Reading Information Studies," where next Friday July 20 on the Terrace at 3pm we'll be discussing Fernando Elichirigoity's book Planetary Management: Limits to growth, computer simulation, and the emergence of global spaces.

Friday July 20 3pm: Fernando Elichirigoity, Planet Management: Limits to Growth, Computer Simulation, and the Emergence of Global Spaces (Northwestern University Press, 1999). [paper: $28]

Planet Management is a study of, and contribution to, the history of "globality"--the emergence of a complex organization of politics, economics, and culture at a planetary rather than a national level. Drawing on historical archival research as well as recent theoretical work in science studies and critical theory, the book tell the story of the central role of technoscientific discourses and practices in the emergence of globality.

New blog title

You'll notice I've changed the title of our blog to "Libraries, information, and sustainability." Mostly this was because the earlier title was a mess and and this one is more memorable. But I think this topic has resonance outside of UW-Madison SLIS and I wanted a title that would be more welcoming to faculty, staff, students, and other professionals from the wider UW community (and beyond).

Friday, July 6, 2007

Is Harry Potter green?

Only two weeks to the release of the last Harry Potter book. (Full disclosure: I'll be buying one and reading it non-stop the day it's released.) But with all those books printed and shipped to all those bookstores around the world, should we be considering the environmental impact as well as the educational and entertainment value of the event? Over at the Britannica Blog, a posting asks How green is this Harry Potter?

In March Scholastic announced its plans for what it called “a historic commitment” to the environment. For its first print run, Scholastic said, 12 million copies of The Deathly Hallows would use paper with “a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste (pcw) fiber.” In addition,

65% of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the U.S. first printing will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the global standard-setter for responsible forest management.

Scholastic also announced that it would produce 100,000 copies of a “deluxe edition” that would use 100 percent pcw fiber for its 784 pages of text and FSC-certified paper for its jacket.

As a large collective of institutional purchasers, I wonder what leverage libraries might have in convincing publishers to increase the use of recycled material in their products.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Eco-Librarians Continuing Ed Course

When this sustainability discussion started, I wanted to be proactive about the effort. CES hosted a library design conference in April which featured Wisconsin's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) library built in nearby Cross Plains. The library's director, Pam Bosben, has expanded on the LEED ideals by providing environmental-based programming for all ages, encouraging staff to reduce consumption, and working with local green organizations to establish the library as a community leader of sustainability. She's fabulous and it makes absolute sense for her to share her philosophies and actions with the broader library world.

I contacted her about developing an online, non-credit course about how to make libraries greener and she enthusiastically accepted. The course is set to be offered during Spring 2008. In my perusing of continuing ed courses, I have not come across anything similar. It's exciting to be able to offer such a unique and undoubtedly important class from SLIS! Spread the news! Publicity about the course will be distributed this Fall.