The COP26 summit in Glasgow challenges everyone, from mighty nations to the smallest of individuals, to acknowledge the severity of the climate crisis and to take urgent action.

In October 2019 Jesmond Library held a Climate Action Month, in partnership with the Women’s Institute and Extinction Rebellion. As part of that initiative, we compiled a special book collection to allow our library users, from the youngest upwards, to learn more of the issues. Some of these books are now on display in and around the library and all are available for borrowing.

In addition to the Climate Change collection, the library has many other books which provide practical steps we can take to reduce our own carbon footprints. Gardening books on how to grow our own food; cookery books on how to cook more plant-based meals and eat less animal protein; DIY and craft books on recycling, repurposing and careful maintenance of our homes and belongings.

The COP26 summit provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the steps the library has taken to reduce its emissions, and to challenge ourselves to do more and do better. Here are just some of what has been achieved in the last few years, both large and small steps. Some of these are in response to suggestions made by visitors to our Climate Change Exhibition two years ago.

  • Washable glasses and china mugs are now provided in place of disposable paper cups and plastic glasses
  • Fresh tap water is freely available for any who request it, thus reducing the need for bottled water
  • We have a battery recycling facility
  • We host a charity used-clothing recycle bank
  • We have replaced our ceiling lights with LEDs
  • We have a smart heating system, remotely monitored and thermostatically controlled, to ensure we heat only the rooms which are occupied
  • The library roof has been insulated
  • So far, we have successfully replaced 15 of the 21 sets of single glazed windows with double glazed units, and are raising funds to complete the Last Chapter of this particular story

COP26 speaks to our values of social and environmental justice, and as a central member of the Jesmond community we are challenged to continue the discussion of how we can in our own small way continue to make a difference.

Climate Change Collection Books