Library Committee Handbook

Administrative Council


Library Energy Conservation Working Group Report:

Redeployment of Personal Equipment and IT Resources



In recent years, the operating costs associated with energy have spiraled out of control. These costs have impacted personal budgets, and it has been having a very real impact on the finances of institutions of higher education. By the end of FY09, the University projects that the deficit in funding available to meet its energy needs is projected to approach $90-million. Consequently, the University has been challenged to reduce energy consumption. On a campus level, Facilities and Services has been actively working with units on retro-commissioning projects that are intended to provide better control over energy usage. They have also begun a program of developing "shadow" bills for units with the intent of setting the baseline for a future energy assessment. Indeed, some units have already been asked to contribute resources to cover their own energy costs. There is also a very real impact of these costs. In the long-run, developing a more sustainable means of conducting business is important to the long-term health of our nation and our environment, but in the short-term, helping the University to save money on energy contributes to the overall financial health and stability of the institution. 



The Library Energy Conservation Working Group's intent in releasing this first set of recommendations is to document our first set of recommendations that are intended to help "green" our office. This document is not intended to address every possible solution within the Library or to outline every project being developed between the University Library and its campus partners.


That said, we believe that this set of eight recommendations will help the Library to support the University's efforts to conserve energy and develop a more sustainable operation in four ways:





I.                Analyze Usage of Public and Staff Computers and Remove Underutilized Equipment

The University Library currently supports over 1000 public and staff workstations throughout the Library system. In most cases, these workstations are actively used to meet the needs of the University Library's patrons and the operations that support them. However, many of these machines receive relatively light usage while draining power and resources from the University and Library. In addition to their initial and subsequent replacement costs, machines that are under-used still consume power, require maintenance, and generate excess heat while providing the Library and its patrons with negligible returns, especially as an increasing number of patrons bring laptops into heavily used units.


The University Library will seek to reduce the number of computers supported by a minimum of 10% in the coming year and seek to relocate an additional 5% of machines from low-use areas to higher-demand operations. In order to accomplish this, Library IT will conduct an analysis of computer usage and initiate discussions with Unit Heads about which computers will, per Library IT's usage analysis, be removed without negatively impacting the unit's operational mission. In the short-term, this will reduce both direct and secondary power consumption. In the long-term, this will begin to reduce the Library's e-waste and cut down on both primary and secondary operating costs.


               Target Completion Date:              Identification in April 2009; Removal ongoing for FY2010

               Responsibility:                                 Library IT


II.              Analyze Distribution of Printers and Other Library-Supplied Peripheral IT Equipment

The University Library procures and supplies significant quantities of peripheral equipment to support operations. Some of this equipment is necessary for the operational needs of a unit. However, some of it is not necessary to the operational needs of an individual unit. Rather, they are perks or legacy equipment that existed from before networked printers were ubiquitous. For example, just a couple years ago, the Main Library's 246 Office Suite was equipped with at least six printers for seven personnel. Today, just two machines serve the office suite, and this could likely be reduced to one.


The University Library will seek to reduce the quantity of peripheral IT equipment; in the case of printers, the goal will be to reduce the number of printers supported by at least 15% and to standardize the models as much as possible


Target Completion Date:              ID in April 2009; Removal ongoing for FY2010

               Responsibility:                                 Library IT


III.             Audit the Distribution and Usage of Existing Office Equipment

The University Library supplies large quantities of office equipment to support day-to-day operations within its facilities. Many of these items draw power and carry with them both primary and secondary costs.






Copiers & Scanners


Microfilm Equipment


               Target Completion Date:              August 2009

               Responsibility:                                 Library Facilities, IT, Office of Collections


IV.             Auditing the Use of Non-Library-Supplied Equipment

The University Library will audit the use of high-energy consuming non-library supplied equipment, including: space heaters, refrigerators, and microwaves. Upon completion of the audit, Library Facilities will develop a plan to reduce the redundant refrigerators and microwaves. In keeping with the University's Energy Usage Policy space heaters may be used only during officially recognized temporary outages of service during which the primary building heat is not operational, The only space heaters in the facility will need to be Library supplied and will only be made available based upon Library Facilities review of the nature of the outage.


               Target Completion Date:              August 2009

               Responsibility:                                 Library Facilities


V.              Replacement of Existing Library-Supplied Equipment

Per recommendations in the University of Illinois Energy Use Policy, the University Library will purchase Energy-STAR compliant equipment whenever possible. Library IT has already implemented this change with desktop computer equipment, and Library Facilities has implemented this process for all replacement air conditioning units. However, this will be a preference in all procurement decisions.


               Target Completion Date:              Immediately

               Responsibility:                                 Library Administration


VI.             Shutdown Procedures for IT Resources

Per recommendations of the University of Illinois Energy Use Policy, the University Library will endeavor to implement regular shutdown procedures for computers and other IT equipment. As detailed in CITES "Guidelines for Energy Conservation and Computing Equipment," personnel within the University library should power down peripheral IT equipment located in their workspace, including: monitors, speakers, and printers. 


The document also notes that procedures for shutting down computer hard drives should be determined by the units providing IT support. In the case of the University Library, procedures are not yet in place to support both turning off computers and ensuring that necessary security updates are completed. Library IT is currently working on processes to enable this to be accomplished without putting the local network at risk.  This new procedure will be phased in with new equipment as it is installed.  Library IT is hopeful that this will be completed by the middle of 2010.


               Target Completion Date:              Ongoing work with implementation in June 2010

               Responsibility:                                 Library IT


VII.            Shutdown Procedures for General Lighting

The University's Energy Usage Policy indicates that lighting not necessary for safety will be shut down during non-operational hours. Library Facilities has been working with Central Access Services for some time to ensure that most lighting in the Stacks is turned off at night. However, every unit should ensure that lights within a unit are turned off at the close of business, and individuals should take responsibility to turn off lights when leaving offices and work spaces.


               Target Completion Date:              Immediately

               Responsibility:                                 All Library Personnel


VIII.          Assessing Equipment Operated by Non-Library Tenants

Currently, campus buildings are metered at the building level, meaning that the only way to assess costs per unit in shared facilities is by calculating the assignable square feet occupied by each unit and dividing the costs proportionally. For example, the Music and Performing Arts Library occupied slightly more than 30% of the Music Building. The University Library is identified as being responsible for slightly more than 30% of the assignable square feet. This model of apportioning costs only covers officially assigned square feet. There are external units and operations within University Library facilities that occupy space officially assigned to the University Library. Consequently, the University Library is assigned costs for these units.


The Library's Administration will develop a model to ensure that non-library tenants within University Library facilities are assessed for the operating costs of these units should the University Library be subjected to utilities costs in the future.


               Target Completion Date:              December 2009

               Responsibility:                                 Library Administration