Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view as a webpage.


NYLA Sustainability Initiative with library building icon on top. 

Issue 1 | December 2016


Thank you for sharing your email address with the NYLA Sustainability Initiative (NYLA SI) so we can keep you up to date on the committee! 


Click here to watch the NYLA Sustainability Initiative Intro video.


Many of you expressed interest in hearing more about the SI, either at the NYLA Annual Conference last month or at other events or presentations throughout the past year. No matter how you got here, we want you to know that we value your presence and look forward to the opportunity to partner with you.

Each month we'll be sharing updates on the committee's work, and ways that you can make your organization and community more sustainable. We hope to get you involved over the next year, because 2017 is full of promise for New York Libraries and the SI.

In 2017, we’ll be launching our Benchmarking Pilot Program, which will give libraries of all types a pathway towards becoming a more sustainable library using the Triple Bottom Line approach of environmental stewardship, economic feasibility and social justice. Stay tuned for a big announcement about a new partnership that will help all public libraries start on the environmental stewardship side of things and a really exciting chance for libraries of all types to be a part of co-creating custom benchmarks for libraries to address aspects of being a sustainable library that are not currently found elsewhere in our profession!
At NYLA Annual Conference 2017, we'll be kicking off the first cohort in our Agents of Change training. Spend a year working on real projects in your community, building leadership and sustainability skills, then spend a lifetime as a mentor to others on the same path.


The Sustainability Spotlight highlights community-driven, environmentally sound, and economically responsible programs and projects in libraries and other organizations. 

You can find more Spotlights in the Archive.

Think your library is doing something that could be spotlighted? Use this form to let us know. 

New Paltz High School Courtyard Gardens

In 2007, New Paltz High School environmental studies teacher, Cathy Law, had a vision to transform an unused space in the center of the school's property into a garden for teaching, learning, enjoyment, exercise, and other creative acitivities. Through her drive, The Courtyard Gardens has blossomed into fifteen themed gardens including a medicinal garden, bird garden, butterfly garden, scented garden, zen garden, and a silver and gray garden. The gardens provide many wonderful learning opportunities for students from botany to rock identification to pollination, and Law has incorporated the gardens into the curriculum of her AP environmental science, earth science, and field biology courses. Her ultimate goals are to provide rich experiences for her students and to “get kids outside loving nature and learning from nature." Read more...

Libraries Step Up to Westchester Green Buisiness Challenge

Librarians from all over the Hudson Valley gathered at the Hendrick Hudson Free Library in Montrose, NY for the Westchester Green Business Challenge Library Forum. The session explored how libraries can use the WGBC's measurement tools and support to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into their operations to achieve certification as a Westchester Green Business, and inspire and promote sustainable practices among other businesses in their community and industry peers. Read more...

South Central Regional Library Council's ReBusiness Partnership

In February 2016, the South Central Regional Library Council went through the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste ReBusiness Partners Program which is “designed to support a local business or organization's efforts to reduce waste, increase recycling and composting, and adopt green purchasing practices.” An assessment was done to monitor existing practices such as recycling paper, plastic, electronics and used toner cartridges, and reducing waste through 2-sided copying, reusing shipping materials, hosting online meetings and webinars, and providing reusable dishware. The Recycling Specialists helped clarify which items are recyclable and which are not (i.e. takeaway coffee cups). They also identified areas for improvement such as implementing a food scrap recycling program, reducing junk mail, and purchasing green cleaning products and recycled content paper towels and toilet paper. After the assessment they provided a thorough waste assessment report, free recycling bins, decals, and signage, and they offered a reduced fee for food scraps recycling. Read more...


Get the Road Map App

A resource to get libraries started and keep them moving towards sustainability.

Copies of the Road Map booklet are available to order for $3 each. 
You can order copies here.

The Roadmap is also available as a PDF for free when you sign up for the Sustainability Initiative mailing list.
Click here to sign up for the mailing list and request a PDF of the Roadmap.

You can also download the NYLA Sustainability Road Map App for iOs devices!
(Android App coming soon!)


Support the Sustainability Initiative Fund

Your donation allows the Susatinability Initiative to continue its work:

To create leadership and provide tools to mobilize libraries to think and act sustainably.
In a way that builds awareness and consensus while inspiring action by members of the library community to own their role as sustainability leaders in their communities,
So that communities thrive, bounce back from disruption and are infused with new and better life for everyone.

All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Click here to donate. 


You don’t have to be a NYLA member to receive the SI Newsletter, but it would be great to have you join! It's so easy (click here) and will give you more tools to advocate for your library and the sustainability of all New York State libraries.


Don’t let spam blockers make you miss your opportunity to hear about all of our upcoming opportunities. Please add nyla-sustainability@list.nyla.org to your address book so our monthly newsletters get to you first.


If you would like to subscribe to the NYLA Sustainability Initiative eNewsletter, click here.

If you would no longer like to receive the NYLA Sustainability Initiative eNewsletter, click here.