Central Library Participates in Lights Out Indy
September 23, 2009
The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library is doing its part to help reduce bird mortality by extinguishing unnecessary lighting at Central Library downtown. It’s participating in the Lights Out Indy initiative begun by the Amos W. Butler Audubon Society.
Along with the City of Indianapolis and numerous businesses in the metro area, Central Library is turning off its exterior architectural building lighting from midnight to 7 a.m. During that time the library’s interior lights also are being turned off except for emergency lighting. The goal is to reduce the number of birds killed or injured by colliding with the library’s glass and steel-framed six story addition and four-story Atrium.
Over the past month of Central Library’s participation, library staff have noticed fewer birds that have met such a perilous fate. In addition to turning off its lights, the library has placed window appliqués in the form of hawk-shaped silhouettes on the east and west exterior of the Atrium which give the appearance of an object that birds would avoid.
Lights Out Indy is promoting participation in its efforts during the fall migration period which continues through October. Another push will come during the spring migration period from April 1 through May 31. Taller buildings are being targeted because they are most likely to affect migrating birds. Since most birds migrate at night, they can be drawn off course or confused by tall, lighted structures. They end up striking a building outright, or continue flying in circles around lighted buildings until they drop to the ground from exhaustion.
In addition to protecting migrating birds, the Lights Out Indy initiative offers an economic benefit for IMCPL, which projects a savings of $7,000 per year in electricity costs. Central Library, in fact, has decided to continue its nightly lights-off procedures throughout the year.
More information on Lights Out Indy can be found at lightsoutindy.org.