Sustainability Initiative Committee (SI) Update

Submitted by Matthew Bollerman, NYLA SI Co-Committee Chair

Sustainability Initiative Committee Update – Calling All Change Agents

NYLA 2016 was the best conference ever for the NYLA Sustainability Initiative Committee!

We made our debut at conference and were thrilled at the response our work is getting.

We had a full day CE: Libraries - a powerful platform for change; where over 40 library professionals got a front row seat to the full NYLA-SI philosophy – a primer on how to think more sustainably about the future of their libraries and real time practice with some of the techniques we all need to be successful back in our own communities. We saw lightbulbs going off all day for participants and appreciate the Leadership & Management Section for sponsoring this event.

Perhaps most exciting was that every conference attendee received the new Road Map to Sustainability, a booklet developed by our Committee to help library leaders learn more about the “triple bottom line” of sustainability while they capture their good ideas for leading their libraries forward. The booklet was also sold at our booth and within 24 hours we sold out of our 1,500 copies from the first printing! More are coming so don’t hold back your order if you want some for your staff or board. You can order yours for $3 each by contacting

Thursday of conference we launched our mobile app! Developed by NY-based company, and longtime conference exhibitor, Capira Technologies  in conjunction with the Road Map team of NYLA-SI this app is currently available, free of charge, for iOS devices through the iTunes store. The Android version is coming soon! Download the app today to get started to learn more about sustainability and how you can be a sustainability leader in your community, on your campus or in your school.


The Committee also had a booth on the trade floor. Many of those who visited, signed a pledge that Libraries help build sustainable communities. Members of the committee were happy to answer questions about the Road Map and upcoming projects the Initiative is launching. Our raffle winners received baskets of items from around New York, because, “Local Supports Local.”

We’d like to thank the 120+ conference attendees who showed up at our focus group on Friday at conference. Your interest, input and energy really empowered the committee members in the room. We are taking your feedback and using it for a planning retreat in early 2017. This information will shape the committee’s efforts and direct our energy in ways we hope will continue to inspire, engage and empower the New York library community.

Library Journal's Rebecca Miller, one of our committee members, wrote her editorial for the November 15th issue in response our work, check it out here.

What’s next for NYLA-SI? Stay tuned for an exciting new opportunity to be one of our pilot libraries in 2017 as we bravely launch a certification path for “Sustainable Libraries.” Don’t you want to be one of the first libraries in the world to take this on? We know there is a lot of interest out there, we’ve already got a list of libraries who want to take part so we know the application process will be competitive – don’t miss out. Stay tuned right here in the NYLA eBulletin and by signing up for the NYLA-SI enewsletter here.