I was intrigued by what the Library of the Future in Plain English had to say about new libraries being sustainable. My town, Castro Valley, opened a new library in 2009, and it was designed to be green. (Pictures are from September 2012 when I did a report on the library for my LIBR 200 class).
The new library has a solar installation that provides the library electricity, and a screen lets patrons see current energy production.
You can also view the library’s energy info on the web, from a link on the library’s website. (As I write this post, there’s nothing happening solar-wise since it is pouring).
The library’s large windows make good use of natural light, and make it a really pleasant place to be.
The library design extended into the outside areas, really thinking “outside” the box of the library. A creek that was just a sealed concrete culvert was opened up, and there is a more natural environment, with native plants, and a bridge over the creek.
The bridge leads to a small playground which helps entice families to the library. (I’ve taken my kids since they were toddlers and it’s a perfect complete outing–run off some energy and enjoy the great offerings inside the library as well.)
There is even a small creekside amphitheater where some library programs take place (for example, programs with visiting animals from the nearby Sulphur Creek Nature Center).
Here is more information about some of the library’s sustainability features. This library is definitely a gem for Castro Valley.