Your Energy Efficient Library

Your Boone County Public Library is generously funded by the residents of Boone County and as such, we at the library strive to be good shepherds of that funding. In an effort to achieve this, we realize that energy usage and cost management is critical. So a number of projects have been undertaken in order to act as good stewards of both the environment and BCPL’s funds.

Hopefully many of you may already know that the Main Branch was originally designed with energy efficiency in mind as it is heated and cooled by a state of the art geothermal system. This heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system uses the natural ground temperature to provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.

The library was also designed with energy efficient fluorescent lighting in the majority of the building. However, there were some areas where we have been able to improve the energy efficiency of the lighting in the library and utilize some energy rebates from Duke Energy to reduce the investment cost at the Main Branch.

Primarily on the 1st floor of the library, a large amount of halogen spot lighting was usedblog one to highlight displays in the library. More than 300 of these lamps were using 50 Watts of energy each. Through the use of an almost 50% rebate from Duke Energy, we were able to purchase LED replacement bulbs which utilized only 7 Watts of energy (resulting in an 86% reduction) and produced the similar light output. This project is currently being implemented and will result in an annual savings in excess of 52,000,000 Watts (52,000 KiloWatts) of energy. It will decrease the heat load and air conditioning costs in the building during the spring/summer/fall air conditioning seasons due to the lower wattage lamps. Also noteworthy, due to the replacement of these high energy/temperature lamps, we will drastically reduce the amount of light fixture maintenance and replacement required due to the tremendous amount of destructive heat generated by the original 4 bulb fixtures.

We also implemented a number of energy savings projects last blog twoyear at the Lents Branch. As many of you are aware, the old style T12 fluorescent tubes are becoming increasingly difficult to find as the result of the Department of Energy’s phase out of this technology. Due to the age of Lents, there were still T12 fixtures installed, so to guarantee lamp availability and economy as well as reduce the energy usage at Lents, we replaced 96-T12 fixtures which included 296-T12 bulbs with T8 fixtures and lamps (By utilizing T8 lamps, instead of the newer T5 lamps, we were able to take advantage of energy savings of the new style lamps and greatly minimize the cost to retrofit the fixtures). Additionally we were able to replace 15-175 Watt metal halide bulbs with 55 Watt CFL lamps (a 68% reduction) and 20-40 Watt candelabra bulbs with 5 Watt LED bulbs (an 87% reduction). blog threeNext, we took our energy savings process to the outside lights, both the exterior building and the parking lot lights. Here we replaced 12-250 Watt exterior metal halide lights with 68 Watt CFL lamps (a 73% reduction) and 7-175 Watt Metal Halide lamps with 68 Watt CFL lamps (an almost 61% reduction). This entire project was also eligible for a Duke Energy rebate and the total cost of the interior and exterior program will be paid for in approximately 2.25 years with a 44%+ return on investment(ROI)!

With the age of the facility at Lents, the HVAC system had only simple thermostatic controls, so we added new setback thermostats to control the temperatures during unoccupied times. This will enable the system to be automatically controlled and will provide energy savings for the 100+ hours that the building is not occupied, as well as provide a comfortable environment when the employees and patrons arrive in the mornings.

The Scheben Branch was renovated in 2010/2011 and many energy savblog fouring features were incorporated at that time including the T5 andT8 lamp retrofits and installation of energy efficient hand dryers. However, we found an opportunity to save a significant amount of energy in the parking lot by replacing the 16-175 Watt post lamps with 42 Watt LED lamps(a 76% reduction). As with the other lamp replacements, we were able to take advantage of a Duke Energy rebate to make this project more economically beneficial.

The Florence Branch, has been in existence for a while and was still operating on an older HVAC control system. This system was not technologically up to date and many of the components were becoming scarce and obsolete. This also meant that we had difficulty finding technicians who were still knowledgeable and capable of trouble-shooting and repairing the system in a timely manner. In order to improve the maintainability of the system and incorporate the latest technology in HVAC controls, we installed a new state of the art computerized control system in the spring of 2014. This system is very similar to the system that is used at the Main Branch to optimize the efficiency and to provide more effective control of temperatures. Over the past few months we have been able to fine tune this system to more adequately address both energy usage and to enhance comfort at Florence.

Now that we have addressed the key pressing energy issues at our branches, we are embarking on a new quest to find additional opportunities to uncover energy savings. We are working with Duke Energy as well as an energy consultant to assure that we thoroughly investigate opportunities that make economic sense for your Boone County Public Library to pursue.


Tim Fritz has been the Facilities Manager at BCPL for the past 4 years. He has been a Union resident for the last 21 years and is a graduate of General Motors Institute and the University of Dayton. Previously he worked in manufacturing, where he started saving energy with General Motors Corporation as an Energy and Environmental Project Engineer more years ago than he would like to remember.

Hook & Needle: 16th Century Skills into the 21st Century

Continuing the great success we had with last year’s Happy Hookers: Crochet for Beginners class, Boone County Public Library will be offering Hook & Needle, a new series of craft classes, at the Main Library in 2015. These are single meeting, project based crochet and knitting classes offered throughout the year. We wanted to be able to offer classes to crafters at all skill levels and have them leave with what they need to complete a project in just one class. The series will start with a set of three beginner’s level classes -a crochet scarf (January), an arm-knit infinity scarf (February) and a crochet beanie (March) with future classes announced in the the Discover newsletter.  The idea behind the Hook & Needle classes came from the great success we have had over the last few years with other crochet class programs and the library’s participation in International Yarn Bomb day in June.

In the beginningwarmmup america there were granny squares… The first major crochet project we put on was a community charity quilt through Warm Up America in 2011.  Participants attended a beginner’s class to learn the granny square pattern and pick up the supplies to make squares for what would become a queen-sized blanket that was donated to the Women’s Crisis Center in Hebron.  It took ten of us about two months to complete the 4- square blanket seen in the picture.

Why is the Library wearing a Sweater? The Main Library yarnbegan participating in International Yarn Bomb Day in 2013. Every year on June 8, crafters around the world “yarn bomb” buildings, statues, trees, and even bridges by wrapping them in crochet or knitted pieces. Yarn bombs are really communal art installations, a chance to come together and do something fun as a group that the whole community can then enjoy.  We have been wrapping the pillars on either side of the door, adding a third pillar in 2014.  For 2015, we have plans to “bomb” the statue of Mary Draper Ingles – Look for a class especially for the yarn bomb in May.

Ruffle Scarf Explosion Up until September of 2013, all the crochet classes had been small, around ten people at the most attended, but all that changed with the Ruffle Scarf class. What started as one 20 person class, quickly became three classes as the wait lists filled twice. It was an overwhelming success and would lead to an interesting experiment the next year.

From Beginner to Blanket in one year After the ruffle scarf class, we Happy Hooking- final (1)knew we had the audience for more classes and we embarked on a very ambitious project. Happy Hookers: Crochet for Beginners would be a year-long, monthly class that would teach a new pattern each month. At the end of 2014, each participant had a nine block sampler blanket, participated in the yarn bomb, and made a block for a blanket that will be donated to Project Linus. Each block that the class learned added something new to their crochet knowledge — be it a new stitch or technique.

We are excited to offer the Hook & Needle series at the Main Library over the coming year, and look forward to sharing these great heritage skills. For the more experienced crafters, BCPL is continuing the popular In the Loop, a crochet and knitting group that meets every Monday at 10 am at Florence Branch. There is also a new teen crafting meet-up at Scheben Branch called Threading Thursdays that meets the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm.


Katie Widener, a Burlington native, attended U of L and UK before becoming a Reference Librarian at Main Library in 2011. When she’s not crocheting, she is usually found geeking out over something- be it Harry Potter (Slytherin house rules!) or comic books.