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MA Library Says It’s “Easy Being Green”

October 1, 2007

North Adams, MA – Managers of the only green-certified library in Massachusetts are hoping to start a trend. North Adams Public Library began to incorporate energy efficiency programs in 2005, by installing solar panels and geothermal wells, preserving existing light fixtures and furniture, and using local resources to cut down on shipping-related pollution.

Today, the library is one of 25 green-certified buildings in the state. Library Director Marcia Gross says they're saving about 30 percent on energy costs, and have healthier air for patrons. She says the remodeling has been a big improvement.

"We were very uncomfortable! In the winter, our heating system did not work very well and we were often cold. Now, the indoor conditions are very pleasant. We've had less illness and less absenteeism among employees. It's a very pleasant building to work in."

The library shared its strategies in a "going green" workshop held this summer, and attended by representatives from 45 area libraries. The facilities can apply for grants to help them "go green" through the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The Portsmouth Public Library in New Hampshire recently became the second green-certified library in New England.

Kevin Clay/John Robinson, Public News Service - MA