Just in time for Earth Day 2015, Arlington Public Library is riding high with another distinction in sustainability. Central Library is now a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business according to the League of American Bicyclists.
The award recognizes Central for its efforts to encourage biking among its employees and patrons through education programs, bike-friendly facilities, car-free visits and being a key distribution point for biker support materials for everyone from beginners to long-time riders.
Central is one of only two public library facilities in the United States so honored among more than 950 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. It is the only library ranked as high as silver.
Among cities and counties, Arlington is tied with Portland, Ore. for fourth place as home to 29 BFBs.
In 2012, Arlington Public Library won the Top Innovator for Sustainability Award from the Urban Libraries Council, for among other things, using Library grounds to create community gardens in partnership with a number of civic groups. Library gardens continue to thrive, with food grown donated to Arlington Food Assistance Center. The gardens are also the centerpiece for an active schedule of talks and demonstrations.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge determined that Central Library was exceeding its goal to cut energy use by 20 percent through the use of rooftop solar panels and a new cooling/chiller system.
This spring marked the return of the “The Shed,” the region’s first public garden tool lending collection, also at Central and available to all Arlington adult residents. Because no one needs to buy a post hole digger unless absolutely necessary.
Need to measure how much energy your home appliances are using? Borrow a Kill A Watt meter at any Library location. Need to dispose of old CFL bulbs? We’ll take those too at Central, Aurora Hills and Plaza.
Don’t forget our trees. Just this week the Willow Oak at Columbia Pike Branch was inducted into the County’s Notable Tree Program. If you don’t want to cross the river, cherry blossoms are closer than you think.
And of course the Friends of the Arlington Public Library are just wrapping up another highly successful annual Spring Book Sale, the oldest recycling tradition in the County. Come back for the Fall Book Sale, Sept. 17-20. Donations of books, music, magazines, maps and puzzles in good condition welcome beginning April 27.
Cycling, recycling. Earth Day, every day. Arlington Public Library Library will get you there.