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NYLA Sustainability Initiative with library building icon on top.

The Newsletter of the NYLA Sustainability Initiative 

Issue 10 | October 2017



The NYLA 2017 Annual Conference theme is “Choose your Own Adventure” on November 8-11 in Saratoga Springs.

Be sure to visit the NYLA-SI Booth at space #112 on the Trade Show Floor.

Meet the SI co-creators, ask questions, buy some rafflle tickets and be a part of the excitement!



Get your Sustainability on at these Sessions:


Libraries are a Powerful Platform for Change

Thursday, November 9: (4:15 - 5:15p)

Sponsors: LAMS / PLS, ESRT, IFRT
Track: Administration & Leadership

Libraries are a powerful platform for positive change in the lives of those we serve. We can change the world, one library at a time. Raise your awareness and be inspired to own your role as a sustainability leader in your community. Our goal: Ensure that New York's communities thrive, bounce back from disruption and are infused with new and better life for everyone. Libraries can lead the way. This event will combine the conceptual with the practical. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how to position the library as a community leader, create mutually beneficial partnerships and inspire future investment in the library.



Matthew Bollerman, Hauppauge Public Library
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System

Youth Services Sustainability, Growing Our Own

Friday, November 10: (9:00 - 10:00a)

Sponsors: YSS
Track: School & Youth Programs, Services, and Literacy

Youth Services Departments work with parents, caregivers, and children every day - yet how often do we think of our work as being sustainable to the future of libraries? This presentation will introduce you to the basic concepts of sustainability in libraries, and will focus closely on how Youth Services Departments can play a vital role in helping their library be a leader in creating sustainable, resilient communities.



Lisa Kropp, Lindenhurst Memorial Library
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System


Show Us Your Road Map!

Saturday, November 11: (9:30 - 10:30)

Sponsor: SI
Track: Administration & Leadership

In 2016 the NYLA Sustainability Initiative launched a Road Map to Sustainability. We’ve heard from dozens of library leaders across the state that they are making good things happen. We want to hear more! Come and share how you got started, what you’ve been working on and how the NYLA-SI project has changed your thinking about the future of your library. At this event we will also share details of the new Sustainable Library Certification Program being launched through NYLA!

And don't forget to bring your Road Map!



Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System
Matthew Bollerman, Hauppauge Public Library
Stephen Maher, NYU Health Sciences Library



Degrowth Is Coming - What Libraries Can Do to Contribute to the Downscaling Debate
Edgardo Civallero, American Libraries Magazine

Our planet is limited in its ability to supply resources and absorb waste from human activity. Exponential growth within these limitations places us on a collision course with biophysical reality—we will exceed capacity and be unable to sustain our activity. If libraries wish to collaborate with communities in the fight against climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, natural resource depletion, and the ongoing mass extinction of species, they should actively contribute to the degrowth debate—and they should do so twice over. Read more.


On the Road

The SI's Road Map to Sustainability is a choose your own adventure that uses checklists, questions, and examplars to help library staff and trustees establish policies and practices, develop partnerships, and identify resources that will help make their lirbary a leader in sustainable thinking in their community. The Road Map is available in the formats listed below. Start your adventure today!

In Print

As an App

In PDF Format

Road Map booklet are available to order for $3 each.

You can order copies here.

The Road Map is available as a PDF when you
sign up for the Sustainability Initiative eNewsletter.



Join the Sustainable Library Certification Program!

The Sustainable Library Certification Program is a cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind benchmarking system which helps you position your library as a community leader, helping to make the world a better place while proving that libraries are a smart investment for our future.

The program will lead your library’s administration, board, and staff through a series of activities that result in the creation of an organizational culture in your library that will position the library to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable, resilient, and regenerative community.

Read the press release and FAQs about the program, talk to your administration and board, then join the program and get on your way to being a Certified Sustainable Library!



Support the NYLA Sustainability Initiative
Spring Trail Fun-Run

Friday November 10th: (6:30 - 8:00 AM)
Approximately 3 miles

On this out and back run, we will take a slightly hilly 5k course around the Skidmore Campus. We will pass mansions reflecting Victorian architecture from the 1870s to the turn of the twentieth century as well as the newly built Palazzo Riggi that will be decorated for the holidays. Sidewalks, bike lanes and soft gravel paths will keep us all safe, but since this is a pre-dawn event, headlamp and reflective gear are suggested.

Registration for this event is $8 per person. Proceeds to benefit the NYLA Sustainability Initiative Fund.
Contact NYLA to add this event to your registration, or bring cash or check with you the day of the run.



Help Celebrate Recycling in New York State

There are many reasons to celebrate recycling and waste reduction this Fall in New York.

  1. September 1st, 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the NYS Municipal Recycling Law in which all NYS municipalities were required to adopt a local law or ordinance that mandated the source separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials from solid waste.
  2. November 15th marks the annual celebration of New York Recycles Day. This is part of a nationwide campaign, America Recycles Day, in which communities organize outreach events related to recycling for schools and the public.
  3. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation awarded a $329,300 grant to Columbia County to improve the amount and quality of recyclables recovered in the County.

From September until NY Recycles Day on November 15th, the DEC will be celebrating recycling and waste reduction efforts across the state. Help us in acknowledging the following municipalities for their recycling efforts…

  1. City of Buffalo
  2. Fulton County
  3. Madison County
  4. Monroe County
  5. New York City Department of Sanitation
  6. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority
  7. Town of Bethlehem
  8. Town of Brookhaven
  9. Westchester County

Check out DEC’s social media outlets this month to see featured municipalities and recycling tips. Also be on the lookout for NY Recycles Day events in your community in the months ahead!


Upcoming DEC Events

October 31: New York Textiles Summit: Innovations in Textiles Manufacturing, Waste Reduction, and Reuse
November 7 - 9: 28th Annual NYSAR3 Recycling Conference & Trade Show



To give you a taste of the what the Sustainable Library Certification Program will look like, each month we’re featuring a Benchmark of the Month. We’ll highlight some of the steps along the way that will result in your library achieving sustainability.

The library collection development policy should incorporate Triple Bottom Line considerations such as: community driven collection development and including a goal to limit wasted energy and natural resources in the library’s collection development policy. Care should be taken to eliminate or reduce items that are not ultimately recyclable.

Benchmark J7: Provide at least four programs annually on sustainability issues.

For further reading check out the following articles:

Sustainable Rhinecliff Series, Morton Memorial Library & Community House

Exploring Environmental Science with Children and Teens, Eileen G. Harrington, ALA Editions

Sustainable Living Collection, Madison Public Library (WI)



In keeping with the theme ‘Choose Your Own Adventure”, watch the teaser to the e-learning game  “Choose Your own Sustainability Adventure”  created by the Forum for Sustainable Visions in Action (Forum ViA).



Tag us at #sustainablenylibraries @nyla1890



Download the NYLA Sustainability Road Map App

app store logo          play store logo

The Road Map is a resource to get libraries started and keep them moving towards sustainability.

The Road Map 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 also available to order for $3 each. 

You can order copies here.



Support the Sustainability Initiative Fund

Your donation allows the Sustainability 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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