Week 1

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return to urban sustainable library

Review the what, why, who components

What is an urban sustainable library?

  • We defined sustainability for the Green Garage as having 3 necessary components: environmental integrity, economic justice and community well-being. 2 If any of these elements are missing, it is not considered sustainable.
  • So our library will be sustainable as defined above, and will obviously be urban as defined by the location of the building and the surrounding community.
  • It will be a source of environmentally sustainable information for the community.

Why this library?

  • Our goal is to make it easier for people to make more sustainable choices in their lives.
  • We believe that ...
    • everyone has a right to the information needed to make these more sustainable choices.
    • choosing more sustainable ways of living is more likely to be successful when the person is connected to an encouraging community.
  • Our purpose is to connect (support) people to the information and people (encouragers) who can help them successfully make these more sustainable choices.

Who are our clients?

  • Tenants of the Green Garage.
  • Our immediate community.
  • Anyone who makes contact with us (to what degree?).
  • We don't know yet.

Components of library

  • website, blog, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter
  • physical library: books, periodicals(?), computers, archived posters.
  • consultation service
  • book club
  • kiosk

How will we provide consultation services?

  • General format for service
    • Reference service for those working at the Green Garage (entailing research on topics, summary answers, organize info for the building on daily basis, develop content and scheduling for classes, organize information learned)
    • Provide free information (example: CAT)
      • information pages (like geothermal systems or rain barrels)
      • 10 most frequently asked questions
      • online forms for questions
      • live chat (like Troy Public Library)
      • texting
    • Reference service for visitors
      • 1st 2 hours of research free....then a nominal charge beyond that
      • Could provide something like surgery sessions at CAT, where you can sit down with an expert for a nominal fee and discuss your project/issue
      • Provide referrals to experts
  • Information vs advice

Other considerations

  • Movement from physical to hard drive to online (cloud)...where exactly will our information be, and how can we best find it?
    • Examples:
      • Evolution of GLGI library.
      • Mike looking up 'humidifiers.'
  • How are we making this library an interactive experience? How are we involving our clients?
  • What are we bringing that is unique - what value can we add?
    • Example: Someone comes to us with a question about installing solar panels. How can we help beyond what they can find online?
  • How can we bridge the gap between the people with the knowledge and the people reporting on the knowledge?
    • Example: Someone stops by and asks how we developed our heating and cooling systems. How can we be best prepared to answer that question?

Things we now know about our library

  • We're in agreement on the what, who, how.
  • We'll defer the question of fees until we know if this will even be a problem.
  • We'll need to do some work on our GLGI site, weeding material and linking appropriate material to GG site.
  • We should have a regional, Detroit focus.
  • One goal should be trying to make it easier for people to contribute to the site.
  • What value can we offer?
    • connecting to a real person
    • connecting locally
    • sharing direct experience
    • offering the broader perspective (look at building envelope first rather than solar panels)
    • neutral third party
  • Bridging the gap between person with knowledge and person reporting on knowledge
    • knowledge manager meeting periodically with technical experts
    • reconfigure the site to make it easier to find material
    • "broader brush" - not so much technical info on pages
  • meet with Rep Fred Durhal of Midtown
  • Timebank - exchange services for services
  • consider evening meetings