Green Read Share
Green Read Share is a community library focused on environmental, social, economic, and other similar ‘green’ issues.
The scheme offers a consumption-cutting, emissions-free, and money-saving way to borrow and share the books you love. Green Read Share aims to spark conversation and inspiration around ways we can come together as a community to tackle the challenges ahead of us, such as the climate and ecological crises, rising inequality, and post-Covid unemployment.
You can browse Green Read Share’s book collection and reserve books here. If you have similar books you’d like us to ‘host’ in the community library, we’d love to hear from you – more info on that below.
What Does This Project Achieve?
What Is A Community Library?
Libraries can be so much more than just a collection of books. They are a great way to build community cohesion, and can be developed to suit the bespoke needs of any community. As with other community ‘share schemes’, a community library can help us cut down on resource use, manufacturing, and waste.
The books in a community library are donated and managed by community members, allowing people to spread their love of reading whilst offering educational tools which can help to counter the spread of disinformation in a world of social media and billionaire-funded news cycles.
They are not intended to compete with existing library services – rather, they are a great tool to support public libraries, whilst tailoring their content to the requirements of a particular community. A community library can be community-led, community-managed, and independent. Green Read Share is an independent community library, as it is not part of the public library network and does not receive support from the council.
What Problem Is This Addressing?
Pulp & Paper is the 4th most energy intensive industry in the EU! Alongside key efficiency improvements in the industry, consumption-cutting community share schemes can help to lower production and manufacturing emissions.
Green Read Share, Guildford
Set up in June 2019, Green Read Share now has over 100 books on all sorts of topics from food systems to plastic waste, tax justice to Latin American politics. We deliver books by bike or on foot all over Guildford and the surrounding villages, and borrowers can keep books for as long as they’d like until someone else requests them. You can see our full catalogue along with short intros to each book on our Facebook page, on Instagram (@greenreadshare), or in the Climate Emergency Centre.
If you have books on related issues, we’d be happy to ‘host’ them for you. The physical book can be kept either in the Centre, or at your house. We can add your contributions to our system, and if someone asks to borrow one of these books we can pick it up at your home, deliver to the borrower, and then return afterwards – with a maximum rental time to suit you and no transport emissions!
What About Guildford Library?
Guildford Library - part of the Surrey Libraries network - has a solid collection of books on climate, environment, economics, nature and more, and we are feverishly reviewing their collection. (It’s a slow process, but after our founder Sam accidentally checked out 26 books at once, we’re starting to make a dent!).
We will be posting information and a brief review of all the relevant books held in the Surrey Libraries system alongside Green Read Share’s books. We hope this will both support our local libraries and also encourage more engagement with environmental education in general.
Following very positive feedback from parents, we’ll also be adding some books for younger readers on topics like climate change, plastic waste, and what we can all do at home to tackle these and other issues in our daily lives. Environmental education must play a hugely important role in our younger generations’ futures, not least because studies have shown that environmental education delivers a positive impact on wider-curriculum education. We believe in highlighting that children right across the educational spectrum are equally able to engage with environmental learning, no matter whether they find it easier or harder to learn in the standard curriculum.
If we don’t have a particular book that you’re interested in, let us know and we’ll see if we can source one. For any questions, or to ask about borrowing or lending a book, send us a message or drop in to Zero Carbon Guildford’s Climate Emergency Centre!
** Green Read Share is strictly non-party political, but our founder Sam Peters has stood as a Green Party candidate in the past. Any books which are specifically political or mostly about politics are hosted in a separate section on our page, to make for a more inclusive and collaborative experience for everyone.