Watch CBS News

New York State Libraries Hoping To Influence The Public With Dedicated Going Green Initiatives

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- You may notice at your local library things looking a little greener, and we are not talking about the color of the books.

There is a push to make libraries in New York state, and in turn their patrons, better stewards of the environment, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday.

Public libraries practically invented the "re-use" concept. Now libraries are going even greener.

Lindenhurst Memorial has earned bragging rights as Long Island's first library to be certified by the Green Business Partnership.

"Libraries share. That's our basic philosophy," director Lisa Kropp said.

Lindenhurst Memorial Library
Lindenhurst Memorial Library is pulling out all the stops in its going green initiative. (Photo: CBS2)

Kropp said every decision now is based on its impact on the environment.

Sharing means discarded books are resold or recycled, saving trees. Collection areas have been set up for everything from used batteries to prom dresses. Even children's crafts are made from discarded items, sending dramatically less trash to land fills.

"Anything that we can think of that uses materials that we already have, that's what we try to do. We don't want to reorder," said children's librarian Jeanne Matias.

"We are trying to be a leader in our local community and show patrons ways they can make subtle changes that have a big difference," Kropp added.

MORE"Drag Queen Story Hour" For Children Stirs Controversy At Library

You don't need help at the reference desk to find the changes -- water refill stations, LED bulbs used to reduce energy consumption, and new non-toxic flooring.

"Previously we would have just opened a catalog and bought a very bright-colorful child-looking carpet, and now we are looking at it going, 'What are those colors? What is the dye in this?'" Kropp said.

They have switched to compostable cups and eco-friendly cleaning products.

"They work just as well. There is no smell," said head custodian Joan Dilluvio.

MOREParents In NJ School District Fear New Library Policy Could Turn Kids Away From Reading

A compost pile will soon fertilize the library's vegetable garden that shares its harvest with the community.

Eight other Long Island libraries are nearly certified in the New York Libraries Association model, which is being eyed nationwide.

"We want to lead by example. We want the communities to see, here in Brentwood, they have solar panels on the roof. They built these wonderful rooms here with glass, rather than hard walls. They are glass walls but you can see through them, so that they don't have to put additional lighting in," said Roger Reyes of Suffolk County Cooperative Library System.

Libraries have always been a place to seek knowledge, but now you will take away a lot more than a book or two. The takeaway is a living lesson in how to go green.

Lindenhurst is the first library on Long Island and third in the state to achieve Green Business Partnership.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.