It’s Energy Awareness Week!

Every year, at around this time, our friends at Greenspace organise ‘Energy Awareness Week‘, which is designed to encourage staff and students to help eliminate energy wastage.

You probably won’t be shocked to hear that The Bill Bryson Library uses a lot, and we mean a lot, of energy.  Being open 24/7 and often housing over 1500 users, tapping furiously away on energy sapping laptops or computers; studiously reading one of our many texts under the glow of one our well lit study areas; keeping warm with our central heating (OK, so a few students aren’t warm, we hear you – it is so hard to get it right for everyone but we are working on it!)

Now that the scene has been set, let’s reveal the figures…

In November 2019 the Bill Bryson Library used enough electricity to power 23 average UK homes for a whole year!

This may seem shocking, but it is reasonable for a building so big, (approximately 9000 sq metres – the same as 100 UK houses) and open for so long (now 24/7 by popular demand). On one particularly busy day in November we had over 7000 visits and the average number of visits for the month was 5000 per day!

So, what does the library do to help reduce energy?

  • Automatic lights
  • Automatic computer shut down after periods of inactivity
  • We have an environment champion who looks for any opportunities to reduce energy usage
  • We generate electricity – you might not see them, but we have solar panels on the roof producing energy that is then used by the university.

Have you noticed our book scanners?

Last year we welcomed two shiny new additions to our library printer family… the ZEUTSCHEL ZETA book scanners… not only are they a thing of beauty and simple to use, but they are also super for energy reduction too. Greenspace were so impressed with them that they helped to fund one with the University’s ring fenced carbon management budget.

Super scanners!

The scanners can scan text to screen readable PDFs and it means you don’t have to squish the books down in the MFDs – so also better for keeping our library books in tip top condition.

Energy saving challenge

Can you think of any ways you can save energy while using the library?

Here are some ideas from our friends at Greenspace:

  • Turn off your Monitor when you leave your desk for a break (staff and students!)
  • Set your laptop to sleep mode
  • Unplug devices when they are fully charged

Happy energy saving! Please get in touch with us if you have any ideas to save energy in the library – drop in at the Help & Information desk or email us at main.library@durham.ac.uk

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