My local public library, Multnomah County Library, just announced via Facebook their new ecoroof.
I'm kind of geeking out over it.
I think this is a perfect example of what a library is: a center of community.
Let me break this down a bit.
Yes, a library is a center of information sharing, and for the most part this means checking out books and accessing the internet. But in 21st century, sharing information means so much more. In an age where ecological consciousness is so important, a library has the potential of being a leader and an example of sustainability, and the ecoroof is an amazing example of sustainable living.
The benefits of the new roof include:
- Reducing rainwater runoff into an already stressed sewer system
- Reducing energy costs
- Increasing vegetation and wildlife habitat
- Reducing air pollution
- Filtering the air
- Improving fish habitat, again by absorbing the water before it enters the sewer system.
Because community members (individuals, families, school groups, etc.) can tour and learn about the roof, the ecoroof is an example of information as a thing. You could log on to websites or check out books about ecoroofs, and you can actually experience it.
This is also an example of community colaboration. The roof was designed and monitored by employees of the City of Portland and a Portland State University Professor. The roof was funded by community organizations including various environmental offices from the City of Portland and the Energy Trust of Oregon, Inc. By involving members of the community from outside the library to support, create and maintain the project, more stakeholders are involved, thus creating opportunities to disseminate the information even further into the community!
I give Multnomah County Library two big thumbs up for their new ecoroof, and I can't wait for my summer term to be over so I can get up there and check it out for myself!