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NYLA Sustainability Initiative with library building icon on top.

The Newsletter of the NYLA Sustainability Initiative 

Volume 2, Issue 1 | January 2018



Library Advocacy Day in Albany is Wednesday, February 28, 2018. This is the one day a year that library advocates from across New York State converge on Albany to voice their support for funding and policies that benefit libraries. Their efforts have resulted in over $11M in additional library aid since 2011. This year’s focus for our legislators is to increase State Aid proportionally with Education Aid and to fund Public Library Capital Aid at $30 million.
Hope to see you there!

Get prepped to speak up for libraries:

1. Join the Real People. Real Dollars. Campaign to show your lawmakers and taxpayers how much library patrons save with every visit to your library! Governor Cuomo continues to focus on reducing taxpayer burden through shared services. Libraries wrote the book on this! The return on investment of state dollars is 7:1 and may be even greater at your local level.

Phoenicia Library Advocate

2. Develop partnerships in your community that highlight the collective impact organizations from different areas can make when they work together.

3. Use this handout from the Everyday Advocacy workshop at the NYLA Conference 2017 to develop your elevator speech on why libraries matter, what resources we have and services we provide, and how we’re building stronger communities through engagement and education.



In Governor Cuomo’s state of the state, the Governor “...unveils 20th proposal of the 2018 state of the state: New York’s clean energy jobs and climate agenda.” Some of the keypoints are:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Developing wind power
  • Increased ability for energy storage
  • “Create the ‘Zero Cost Solar for all’ program for 10,000 low income New Yorkers”
  • Reconvene the scientific advisory committee on climate change disbanded by the federal government

 For more in depth information, please click here.



Public Annual Budget Oversight Hearing on Funding of Libraries in New York State for Fiscal Year 2017-2018

Download Now or Click on the Image Below:


Benchmark of the Month

To give you a taste of the what the Sustainable Library Certification Program looks like, we’re featuring a Benchmark of the Month. In keeping with promoting the collective impact of your library, this month we’re looking at Partnerships:

Establish or demonstrate a partnership with a not-for-profit organization within your community that will expand the library's scope in the community and address patron needs.

For example, many libraries across the state have partnered with local organizations to get summer lunches to children in their communities. Contact Hunger Solutions New York to get started as a lunch provider like these libraries:

Depauville Free Library serves lunches during the summer months, as part of the program offered by the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County, NY.

Penn Yan Public Library served 400 lunches last summer, working with the Future Business Leaders of America high school students.

Cape Vincent Community Library also partnered with their local CAPC to bring a multi-age summer reading program that compliments the summer food program as well as extending the school's Backpack Program, providing food to families over the weekend.

Chester Public Library worked with the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley and the Kiwanis Club to deliver summer food boxes to families in need.

Seneca Falls Library partnered with the Seneca Falls School District to bring the Brownbag Storytellers program to the library each week.

Newburgh Free Library also partnered with their school district to offer as many as 150 lunches per day, four days a week for eight weeks, along with an Art Smart program to inspire creative minds.



Earth Day is April 22nd this year. Work with your local Rotary Club, schools, garden club and/or local government to help your community plant trees. Rotary International President Ian Riseley has challenged every Rotarian to plant a tree by Earth Day. What better way to support your local club then by helping them support your local environment? Contact the New York State Tree Nursery to order low-cost seedlings, ready for planting. Order seedlings now for the best selection then visit Rotary’s Tree Planting Ideas for inspiration. Don’t less moss grow on this idea. Act now!

Balsam Fir seedlings from the New York State Tree Nursery




The movement has begun. You can be the first on your block to join the Sustainable Library Certification Program. 25 libraries have already signed up to change the way their libraries interact with their communities. Take advantage of special reduced registration pricing by enrolling before 3/31/2018.

This cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind benchmarking system 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 to foster an organizational culture in your library that will position the library to contribute to the creation of a more sustainable, resilient, and regenerative community.

A recording of the introductory webinar is now available on NYLA's YouTube Channel. 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.


NYLA SI Committee Member, B. Maggie Foster, was married on Sunday, December 31, 2017.



Tag us at #sustainablenylibraries @nyla1890



Download the NYLA Sustainability Road Map App

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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.



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 we will give you more tools to advocate for your library and the sustainability of all New York State libraries.

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