Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view as a webpage.


NYLA Sustainability Initiative with library building icon on top.

The Newsletter of the NYLA Sustainability Initiative

February 2019

New York Reads Drawdown Logo with windmill

Climate change is something that is not going away, unless we are proactively working to reverse it. It is affecting our communities in ways one wouldn’t think of. Here is an interesting take on how the reduction of snow and snow melt is affecting our water supply and is having a huge economic impact.

Drawdown looks at the issues at hand and describes solutions, getting input from different interests in the community through the lens of climate change. The solutions suggested in Drawdown quantify the reduction in the carbon footprint, the initial cost of implementation and ultimately how much economically will be saved in the long run. So not only does it suggest solutions for the health of the planet and its people, but quantifies the economic impact as well. Bookmark our website www.nyla.org/drawdown for an introduction to the book and a tool kit that contains:

Ideas for:

So we urge once again to join with us for the month of March 2019 as New York Reads: Drawdown. Get the conversation going about what individuals and organizations in your community can do to reverse the path the planet is on. Then in April participate in the Drawdown EcoChallenge when you can take those first purposeful steps towards a cleaner future.

scrolling blue line with house




Hendrick Hudson Free Library and Saratoga Springs Public Library are the first libraries to complete the Sustainable Library Certification Program! By working through the benchmarks related to environmental practice, policy decisions, financial choices and equitable social access, these libraries have proven they are truly positioned to be leaders in their sustainable, resilient, and regenerative communities.

So what are you waiting for? Join the almost 40 public libraries statewide that have signed up to change the way they interact with their communities.
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 realization of a more sustainable, resilient, and regenerative community.
Tools for academic and school libraries are coming soon!

scrolling blue line with 2 buildings together


NYLA-SI launched the Community Change Agents program (CCA) in November 2017. Community Change Agents take an active role in transforming themselves, their colleagues, their institutions, and their local communities, to create a positive, productive, just and sustainable future.

Four CCA teams comprised of library staff, a community partner, and a NYLA-SI mentor, gathered in person four times from November 2017 – November 2018 to learn about:

  • Sustainability as a core value and the triple bottom line approach
  • Community engagement beyond the walls of the library
  • Facilitating conversations about the community, in the community
  • Project management and team building
  • Leadership and partnership strategies through a sustainable lens
  • Advocacy for communities, including libraries of course!

Teams came up with projects unique to their own communities’ needs. Monthly cohort calls with all participants (mentors, library staff, community partners, and NYLA-SI members) took place to help guide teams in between in-person trainings.

Projects focused on financial literacy, community communication via the creation of a community newsletter and better internet access, staff training and awareness regarding the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health issues within a community, and breaking down community barriers to underserved populations through partnerships and community outreach.

At the end of the year, the teams and their mentors filled out evaluation forms, and nearly all participants saw the CCA program as an unrivaled success in facilitating key shifts in practice and mindset, primarily through the focus on community first. This helped them improve the positive community impact of their daily work and their long-term projects.

Ultimately, the CCA program complements the Triple Bottom Line approach to sustainability and the NYLA Sustainable Library Certification Program.

Are you interested in learning more about CCA and possibly joining our next round of teams? We’re currently revising the curriculum to build upon the successes and lessons learned from our first cohort. Click here to give us your contact info so we can keep you up to date with the latest info on becoming a Community Change Agent.

scrolling blue line with 2 buildings together


In December 2018 the NYLA Council approved our petition to move from a committee to a round table. The SUSTAINABLE THINKING & ACTION ROUND TABLE (START) is here!

Join us today by logging in to your personal NYLA account, click ‘Personal Record Detail’ from the left-hand menu – then click on ‘Add Sections / Round Tables’ from the list of options at the top.

scrolling blue line with house

facebook logo

sustainability initiative logo

compass graphic

three circles arranged as venn diagram

Join our FB Group

Donate to the SI

Get the Road Map

Get Certified

scrolling blue line with flower bed


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.

Don’t let spam blockers make you miss your opportunity to hear about all of our upcoming opportunities. Please add nyla-sustainability@list.nyla.org to your address book so our monthly newsletters get to you first.

If you would like to subscribe to the NYLA Sustainability Initiative eNewsletter, click here.

If you would no longer like to receive the NYLA Sustainability Initiative eNewsletter, click here.