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The Newsletter of the NYLA Sustainability Initiative

Volume 2, Issue 9 | September 2018

Back to School - Equity

Many students will go to back to school in a 1:1 environment where every student gets a Chromebook or iPad to use for school purposes. Some schools allow students to bring these devices home. Allowing home use brings issues; from lack of Internet access, to financial responsibilities that parents and caregivers can not afford. Being a 21st century learner is designed to give every student an equal chance to be successful, but the reality for many NY students is, the divide between the haves and have nots remains wide. Collaborative efforts between school, public, academic and municipalities close the gap and help all students have an equal chance at succeeding in school. While the digital divide is very real, the 1:1 movement is really helping to provide access.

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The Support System

The 41 School Library Systems (36 are housed in BOCES and 5 in Big City School Districts) provide many services to their school districts. The systems offer expertise, leadership, and learning to school librarians, including professional development and instructional technology. School Library Systems are led by administrators (who are trained school librarians who taught in schools) who understand the unique opportunities and challenges that school librarians are faced with.


HotSpot Lending Programs

Each of us has something to offer to students: school libraries during the school day and school year, public libraries after school, evenings and summer. Hotspot lending programs at public libraries are growing.  The New York Public Library’s Library HotSpot - a partnership between NYC Department of Education, Google.org Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation and the ConnectEd Initiative - is a great example of public library systems working together with school libraries to expand resources available to students and teachers. Students can borrow a device for the entire school year.  Read more.

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The College Connection

Students in upper grades may need higher level academic resources and are able to work with local colleges and universities to they get what they need. This can be facilitated by the school librarian, through a Direct Access/Reciprocal Borrowing program from the Reference and Research Library Resource Councils or using digital collections through the Empire State Library Network.  

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"One issue bubbled up consistently at my school, and now it’s something that I’m actively working to design against: a concern that edtech products can impact our most struggling students in a way that leaves them further behind.”

Looking at EdTech Through an Equity Lens
by Rupa Chandra Gupta

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Live Stream Drawdown Learn

Teaching a Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Change
Live Stream: October 19  7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Organize a viewing party or event

Access the free Friday evening live stream featuring
Paul Hawken and the Drawdown team

For more information:

To register with us as a satellite site, submit your group's information here


Green Procurement Webinar Recording Is Now Available

Learn about green purchasing and the opportunities that are available for using OGS centralized contracts. This webinar will explain how to use OGS contracts, describe the most frequently purchased green products and discuss the latest trends in green purchasing.


Links mentioned in the presentation:

  1. Presentation
  2. Procurement Services Contract Portal
  3. Find Contracts
  4. Corcraft preferred sources
  5. Preferred sources for people who are blind
  6. GreenNY website
  7. Center for Environmental Health


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Look out for our Academic Benchmark Program to Begin

The NYLA-SI Benchmark Workgroup is benefiting from the work of three Pilot Libraries who went through the Academic Benchmarks with fresh eyes and a strong focus on sustainability.

We thank Jesi Buell, Instructional Design and Web Librarian, and the whole team at Colgate University who worked over the benchmarks from A to Z. We thank Michelle Young, Director of Libraries at Clarkson University for her well thought out insights, and finally we thank Emily Clasper, Director of Service Strategies at the University of Rochester.

Once the Benchmark Workgroup has worked through the feedback the Academic Benchmarks will be advertised to the library community. These benchmarks include all three dimensions of the Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability. They are designed to provide a full spectrum of approaches to helping libraries help themselves while helping their communities and the wider world become sustainable places where all of us can thrive.

For more information on the Academic Benchmarks contact Benchmark Workgroup Chair, Geoff Kirkpatrick at geoff@bethpl.org.

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The Sustainability Initiative is the beneficiary of 2 upcoming fundraising events. The Empire State Libraries Fundraiser Golf Outing and Banquet is Thursday, September 27th at the Great Rock Golf Course in Wading River, NY (Suffolk County). Tee off and support the New Yorkers for Better Libraries political action group, the NYLA Legal Defense Fund and the SI.

And if you’re planning to attend this year’s NYLA Annual Conference & Trade Show in Rochester on November 7-10, be sure to join us for the Genesee Riverway Trail Fun Run on the 9th at 6:30am. All skill levels welcome! Info is on the Special Events page.

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