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NYLA Sustainability Initiative with library building icon on top. 

Issue 4 | April 2017



Certifiably Sustainable: A Clear Path Forward for Your Library 

NYLA-SI Certifiably Sustainable: A Clear Path Forward Webinar

with NYLA-SI Committee Member Jill Davis and Dani Glaser of Westchester Green Business



Community Outreach in Syracuse

The concept of sustainability is like a three-legged stool, standing upon economic, environmental, and social justice. The NYLA Sustainability Initiative custom benchmarks prioritize making a connection with the community in which the library exists, and providing leadership in terms of one or more of these “legs”.

The Mundy Branch Library, part of the Onondaga County Public Library system (OCPL), has done just that. Under the leadership of Executive Director Susan Mitchell and Mundy branch manager Carol Johnson, it received a block grant supporting OCPL’s “Technology Leaders Workforce Development Program.” The first phase has been implemented at the Mundy Library under Johnson’s guidance and will soon spread to several other city branches in the following phases. The grant, won under the auspices of a broader initiative called Syracuse’s Consolidated Plan - that seeks to support programs preparing people for jobs in technology and computer programming, aligning with the STEM initiative in schools and libraries. This grant provided technology training for four teens who then provided peer to peer educational after school programs in technology, all for which they were paid (and provided some food – always a plus!).

This is an example of community outreach that fulfills a social and economic need in an area that might not otherwise have a similar opportunity. Delivering impact today, it also promises to positively affect the future of those individuals as well as the community at large.


Hendrik Hudson Free Library Gets Sustainability Award

The Hendrick Hudson Free Library has been chosen to receive the Charles W. Brown, Jr. Sustainability Award for Visionary Leadership and Commitment to Sustainability. The award was created in memory of Charlie Brown, a true visionary with a deep commitment to sustainability. See more here.


Longwood Library Earns LEED Platinum - The Top Certification Available

(Press Release) Longwood Public Library’s expanded and transformed building, which re-opened on October 9, 2015, was built with energy-efficient technology and designed for an environmentally-friendly community-centered facility. The building’s many sustainable features have earned the facility LEED® Platinum Certification, the highest level of recognition awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a globally-recognized certification system administered by the USGBC. It has four levels of achievement, ranging from Certified, requiring a minimum of 40 credits out of a possible 111, to Platinum, which requires at least 80 credits. The USGBC designated Longwood Public Library as LEED Platinum following a series of evaluations. The facility earned 85 points, five more than required for Platinum status. Several public libraries in New York State have achieved various levels of LEED certification, but none at the Platinum level until now, according to the USGBC website.

“When community members participated in the design process, they made it clear that energy-efficient and sustainable features were important to them. The Library Board of Trustees agreed and is committed to long-term sustainability. We’re proud to offer our community a comfortable, appealing and healthy library, with a small environmental impact,” says Lisa Jacobs, Library Director.

Sustainable features contributing to the library’s recent Platinum recognition include:  Lighting control system which takes advantage of maximized daylighting;  Triple-glazed windows to minimize heat loss and glare;  Spray foam insulation resulting in exceptional thermal comfort;  Reduction in water use including no permanent irrigation system;  High-efficiency mechanical systems;  Restored native habitats around the perimeter of the property;  Rooftop solar array to reduce power consumption from the grid;  Recycling and green housekeeping practices.

Longwood Public Library serves the 65,000+ residents of the Longwood Central School District, including the communities of Coram, Gordon Heights, Lake Panamoka, Medford, Middle Island, Ridge, East Yaphank and Yaphank. The building’s architect was Peter Gisolfi Associates, based in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.


NYLA-SI Goes Zero Waste

Earlier this year the NYLA Sustainability Initiative Committee gathered at the NYLA headquarters in Guilderland, NY, to debrief from its inaugural year, process feedback received from the library community, and plan for the coming year.

When planning the event Committee co-chairs Matthew Bollerman and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich went the extra mile to demonstrate what a “zero-waste” event could look like. A zero-waste event is one that reduces solid waste and captures any  recyclable and compostable materials such as cups, plates, and food scraps that are generated by the event in Zero-Waste stations.

Attendees were encouraged to bring their own refillable and reusable water bottles and their own coffee/tea receptacles. Organizers provided compostable plates, cutlery and several as cups - for those who forgot their water bottles

zero1.JPG zero2.JPG

The event was eye opening from both the organizer and attendee perspective and surprisingly easy to do. It is interesting how small decisions can make a big impact. Check out the NYS Office of General Services’ offerings that could help you get closer to producing your own zero-waste event!



Imitate: Penn Yan Library’s Mug Cozies

We showed some of our afterschool kids how to make mug cozies from thrifted sweaters and buttons. They made extras to put out by the library’s coffee machine so we can stop buying paper coffee sleeves. The kids got to learn about sewing and reusing, and we get to be a little more green! (We backwards-engineered our cozies from a picture on Pinterest; there are many places online to find directions.)

Explore ideas on Pinterest.



Tag us at #sustainablenylibraries @nyla1890



Community Change Agents Information Sessions

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Join the NYLA Sustainability Initiative's Community Change Agents for a live webinar to hear in detail about how you can apply to attend our year-long training program designed to strengthen the library's place in the community -  Learn more about the topics of the four training sessions, application requirements and how to become an active participant devoted to positive change in the three areas of sustainability. Register online.

Watch the Community Change Agent Program Overview

SI Road Trip!

Members of the Sustainability Initiative will be on the road this spring, taking the message to where you are! Don't miss the chance to hear what "Sustainable Thinking" for libraries is all about and how you can get started at your library!

Want to have the Sustainability Initiative come to your region?  

Contact nyla-si@nyla.org for more information.



Download the NYLA Sustainability Road Map App for Android and iOS devices

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

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.

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


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.


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