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Library Sustainability Initiatives

Borrowing vs. Consuming

Libraries support sustainability in their communities by promoting borrowing instead of consuming and by providing free print and electronic materials to borrow.

The library works to incorporate sustainable practices in new and updated spaces.

Landscaping Project

The project will take place at 19 libraries to enhance the beauty and safety of the outdoor environments.

Phase 4 Libraries (May – December, 2021)

  • Austin Davis Public Library
  • Charles J. Fendig Public Library
  • Seffner Mango Branch Library
  • 78th Street Community Library

Sustainability measures

  • Addition of Florida-native and/or drought-tolerant plants
  • Addition of shade trees
  • Upgrade of irrigation systems to “smart” systems that will sense when and how much watering is needed

Completed Libraries

  • Bloomingdale Regional Public Library
  • Brandon Regional Library
  • Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library
  • Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library
  • John F. Germany Public Library
  • Lutz Branch Library
  • Maureen B. Gauzza Public Library
  • New Tampa Regional Library
  • North Tampa Branch Library
  • Port Tampa City Library
  • Seminole Heights Branch Library
  • SouthShore Regional Library
  • Thonotosassa Branch Library
  • Town 'N Country Regional Public Library
  • West Tampa Branch Library
Landscaping and signage in front of John F. Germany Public Library
Lawn and signage in front of John F. Germany Public Library

Lighting Upgrade Project

All library lighting systems have been upgraded to LED systems to benefit the environment.

Annual Environmental Impact of Lighting Upgrade for One Building

Changing your lights can benefit the environment!

Coal burning avoided

35,307 lbs. or 16 tons

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction

75,557 lbs.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission reduction

297 lbs.

Equivalent acres of forest added

9 acres

Equivalent # cars removed from road

7 cars

Atmospheric mercury contamination avoided

763 mg.

Nitrogen oxide (NO, NO2) reduction

146 lbs.
50% U.S. electric power generation in 2005 came from coal-burning plants.

Solar Panels

Aerial view of Arthenia L. Joyner Library with solar panels on roof

Electric Car Charging Stations

Charging stating in parking lot

Access easy to use electric vehicle charging station at Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library. The station was installed as part of a U.S. Department of Energy grant in 2012.

Learn about ChargePoint
0 kWh

Energy Demand for 2018

0 kg

Greenhouse Gas Saved

Water Bottle Refill Stations

Stay hydrated, save money and reduce plastic waste by using eco-friendly water bottle filling stations at many libraries.


Plastic Water Bottles Saved

Coworking and Meeting Space

Share resources while working and collaborating in the library’s coworking and meeting spaces.


Meeting Room Uses (FY19)

Sustainable Practices


Paper Reduction

Copy/Print/Scan/Fax Services


Electronic Shred Events

Attend an electronics shredding event held in partnership with Urban E Recycling. Hard drives, cell phones, tablets, and other approved devices are shredded securely and then recycled.

People loading paper into shredder truck at curbside

Cooking Oil Recycling

To support the recycling of cooking oil, the library has partnered with Hillsborough County Public Utilities and the C.O.R.E. program at nine library locations.

Close-up of fryer oil with CORE logo

Educational Classes

Attend a class on recycling or water conservation offered in partnership with Hillsborough County Extension Service and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Rain barrel in garden

Further Reading

GreenFile Logo

Full text articles on environmental topics including green building, recycling, and renewable energy.

Read articles on GreenFile