Tool: (n)  A device one uses to produce or achieve something.  Go Green @ Your Illinois Library provides tools to 1. expand your community’s definition of “green” 2. identify green assets in your neighborhood, and 3. jump start green action that mobilizes these assets to achieve community change that benefits people and nature .

The tools offered here will help you and your community...

These tools can be used individually or as a ladder.
If you are just looking for single activities to do with community groups, we suggest using one of the educational tools or one of the tools or activities in Tell a Green Story. But if you are interested in longer-term community planning and action, use the tools in a series—and climb the ladder to green. 

Rethink Green (Educational Tools):


Make a Toolbox that raises awareness about going green and all the various practices it can entail, from riding a bike to work to helping your neighbor. This tool is a good starting point if you want to open residents’ minds to a broader understanding of “green.” It also results in a concrete tool—a toolbox—that you can incorporate into other activities.

Learn from the Past  
Collaborate for the Future with New Allies
These tools, introduced in the LEARN section of this website, also reveal new ways to “rethink” green. Like the toolbox, they make good precursors to the tools and activities below.

Map Green Assets in your community (COMING SOON).
Whether it's a physical map on a library bulletin board or an online version that can be easily accessed and updated from anywhere, a map of parks, produce stands, homeless shelters, libraries, bike shops and other green community assets is a great first step toward building a greener community. Bringing community members together to create the map builds awareness and camaraderie. This tool is a great precursor to the Tell a Green Story and Foster Green Partnerships activities below.

Tell a Green Story and inspire new stories from others: what’s your environmentally-friendly practice?

Foster Green Partnerships with and among organizations that have never realized how much they have in common!

Start with your library colleagues

For all of these tools, we suggest that you begin by engaging your colleagues at the library, and then based on that experience, expand your efforts to local residents. This will give you room to practice the tools and allow you to experiment and revise them to meet the interests and needs of your library and community. In addition, it will help you get buy-in across the library so that the staff as a whole is engaged in your Go Green efforts. Going green is a community effort—starting with your library community.


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