ETL 504 S.T.E.E.P – Environmental Factor

18 May

Consider the environmental tactic of STEEP. Apply this environmental scan to your situation.


The focus of the environmental aspect of STEEP relates to how libraries lead the way on green issues and the changing climate, scarce resources and buying locally.

At my school library, we recycle paper and try to limit the amount of printing that occurs. We re-use paper as scrap paper for students and staff (provided there is no sensitive information on it). We also try and recycle any disposed books by taking off any plastic covers and disposing them in the recycle bin.

We haven’t yet moved towards a digital library; however this will be a focus for the future. In stating this, I believe there still is a place for physical books and we would aim to have a combination. Digital libraries will have other impacts in terms of technological availability and accessibility, storage capacity and powering devices. Powering such devices and the necessity to maintain cool temperatures for servers then reflect on the carbon footprint we create.

The ever changing climate of the 21st Century has implications on how the library functions and services the learning community. The digital push may reduce some of the resources into scarcity; these resources include physical books and people.

My attempt to buy locally is sometimes hindered by the current practice and procedures of departmental protocols. I recently bought a book from a small home grown publisher based in Western Australia. I ran into troubles when administration staff questioned how to contact the publisher to place the order and who to make the cheque for. Everything was to be completed online. This highlighted that when procedures and the current purchase climates do not correspond, issues arise.


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