Sustainability Initiative (SI) Update

Submitted by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, NYLA-SI Co-Chair

“Vision + Commitment + Persistence + Passion + Humility . . . Damn Powerful…”

Certification Program Tops 30 Libraries!
The NYLA Sustainable Library Certification Program now has over thirty public libraries and public library systems enrolled! From every corner of the state these participants are digging in to the work, starting with an employee survey and a Green Action Checklist which will assist them in making more environmentally conscientious choices for the library, staff and community.

Participating Libraries:

  1. Albany Public Library
  2. Canastota Public Library
  3. Desmond-Fish Library
  4. Dunham Public Library
  5. Esopus Library
  6. Hauppauge Public Library
  7. Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library
  8. Hendrick Hudson Free Library
  9. Highland Public Library
  10. John C. Hart Memorial Library
  11. Kirkland Town Library
  12. Lindenhurst Memorial Library
  13. Mahopac Public Library
  14. Mid-Hudson Library System
  15. New York Library Association
  16. North Babylon Public Library
  17. North Castle Library
  18. Palisades Free Library
  19. Phoenicia Library
  20. RCS Community Library
  21. Rensselaerville Public Library
  22. Rogers Memorial Library
  23. Saratoga Springs Public Library
  24. Saugerties Public Library
  25. South Huntington Public Library
  26. Starr Library
  27. Suffolk Cooperative Library System
  28. Syosset Public Library
  29. Ulysses Philomathic Library
  30. Waterville Public Library
  31. Westhampton Free Library
  32. West Nyack Free Library

Participating libraries were recently provided access to a new online dashboard to help them track their progress on the Green Action List and to benchmark their greenhouse gas emissions. The new dashboard was developed by Green Team Spirit LLC thanks to a grant from the New York State Energy & Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).

NYLA-SI Goes to Westchester

Five members of the NYLA-SI participated in the Green Business Partnership Leaders in Sustainability series at Westchester Community College on March 16th. Rebekkah Smith Aldrich presented “Libraries: A Powerful Platform for Change” to an audience of 70 business people. Panel participants Jill Davis, Claudia Depkin, Jeremy Johannesen and Rebecca Miller shared their perspective on why they joined the NYLA-SI and how libraries are perfectly suited to influence their communities on the issues of resiliency and sustainability.

The response from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, with such comments as “Libraries are leading the way in NY State in their effort to be greener and more relevant to their communities than ever before,” to “while I knew the definition of the word sustainability, I never fully understood what it meant before today. It’s so far beyond “green” – it’s every opportunity to gain skills or knowledge, or change our actions – so we can create something that lasts,” to “Libraries rock!” 

Left-right: Rebecca Miller, Library Journal/School Library Journal; Jeremy Johannesen, NYLA Executive Director; Jill Wienkoop-Davis, Director, Hendrick Hudson Free Library; and Claudia Depkin, Director, Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library

Check out a few more reactions from these savvy businesspeople!

“Libraries are more involved with sustainability on an organizational level than I had anticipated.  I had expected to hear individual case studies without overarching cohesion.  Glad to learn there is so much coordination and cooperation across the state.”

“Our libraries are a much more valuable asset/resource (both real & potential) than I knew.”

“Vision + Commitment + Persistence + Passion + Humility . . . Damn Powerful…”

Call for Academic Library Volunteers

This spring the NYLA-SI will conduct a pilot program for our custom benchmarks for academic libraries. The results of this pilot will help us create a certification path for academic libraries to become officially celebrated Sustainable Libraries! Pilot libraries will provide feedback and test out proposed activities that are designed to assist academic libraries to become more socially, financially and environmentally sustainable. Interested library leaders should reach out to nyla-si@nyla.org to express interest. A committee member will follow up to provide details on the pilot and answer any questions you may have.

On the Road Again…

SI team members will be at the following events. Don’t miss out on hearing the latest news on sustainability and libraries.

April 13, 2018 Urban Librarians Unite Conference  Brooklyn, NY
Sustainable Thinking for the Future of Libraries
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich & Matthew Bollerman

April 28, 2018 Library Trustee Institute Long Island Marriott Uniondale, NY (Nassau County)
Sustainable Thinking for the Future of Libraries
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

May 24, 2018 MidYork Library System  Utica, NY
Youth Services & Sustainability Workshop
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich & Lisa Kropp

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