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The Quarterly Newsletter of the
NYLA Sustainable Thinking and Action Round Table (START)

September 2019


Be a member of the first cohort of school librarians to become Sustainable Librarian Certified! The custom benchmarks for school librarians create opportunities for participating school librarians to reflect on their practice and adapt to the changing needs of learners and educators through strategic decision making and program implementation. Each school librarian customizes their library program to meet local needs while building on existing strengths. We’re only accepting 15 people in this kickoff group, so don’t delay. Register here.

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Rebekkah Smith Aldrich and Matthew Bollerman

In August, NYLA Sustainability Initiative Co-Founders Rebekkah Smith Aldrich and Matthew Bollerman were invited to present at the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) World Congress in Athens, Greece where they also stopped by to pick up the Green Library Runner Up Award for the New York Library Association for the Sustainability Initiative. This award is administered by the Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group (ENSULIB) of IFLA. The award notes NYLA’s Sustainability Initiative as “…an initiative whose strengths are relevance, visibility and global impressiveness on going green. It brings out the emphasis of green libraries as practical contributors to environmental sustainability. The initiative also showed political courage.” NYLA is the first United States organization to be recognized through this award program!

Matt and Rebekkah’s presentation was based on a paper they were invited to present that focused on the key ingredients of the success of the working group of NYLA members who became the co-creators of the Sustainability Initiative – from the concept of “levels of thought” to the distributed leadership model that was employed to empower the NYLA members who stepped up to be a part of this work. Matt and Rebekkah focused on the attributes of the process and practice of the group that would transfer to other libraries and library associations that want to accelerate action on the topic of sustainability in their region.

All Together...How? Presentation

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We are super-psyched to announce that the Sustainable Library Certification Program is taking on a life of its own. That’s right, we’re pushing this baby bird out of our nest and into the wide world by way of its own website! Look for the Sustainable Libraries Initiative to rollout in November 2019. There you can learn everything you need to know to what the program is and why you’d want to join, register and then begin taking the steps to become certified as a Sustainable Library for public and academic libraries, or as a Sustainable Librarian for school librarians. Libraries currently enrolled in the certification program will transition to using the website when they begin the Custom Benchmarks portion of the certification process.

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Join us during Conference for some special programming and events. 

  • Get Social - Wednesday November 13th at 5pm for a relaxed in-person meetup. Please RSVP here so we can get a headcount and pick the perfect venue 
  • Get Informed - Kick off your learning with us at the first conference session on Thursday November 14th at 1:45pm. We’ll debut the new website and talk with folks who are currently working through the Sustainable Library Certification Program
  • Get Fun - Stop by our booth on the Trade Show Floor to learn more about what’s going on with START
  • Get Fit - Join us on Friday morning November 15th at 6:30am for our annual fun run to benefit START. This is a slightly hilly 5K from the Saratoga Hilton to Skidmore College and back that you can take at your own pace. Registration is $8 and can be added to your conference membership at any time
  • Get Recognized - Celebrate with us as the Hendrick Hudson Free Library, tthe Saratoga Springs Public Library and the Lindenhurst Memorial Library receive awards for their hard work in striving for Sustainable Library Certification during the Inaugural Celebration & Awards Banquet on Friday November 15th at 7pm
  • Get Repaired - We’re co-sponsoring a Repair Café at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on Saturday November 16th from noon-3pm and help keep items out of landfills

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The Great Give Back is a statewide day of service made possible by public libraries! This event offers an amplified platform to showcase the good work many libraries are already doing to connect citizens willing to address needs in their community—from cleaning up local parks and playgrounds, to holding Repair Cafes, to writing letters to soldiers, and so much more—and to highlight the public library’s evolving role as a community hub. This event is designed to help libraries get more visibility and good press for the great work they are usually already doing!

The Great Give Back will be held on October 19, 2019 as a pilot project to expand this well-received initiative from Long Island to the rest of New York, and MHLS libraries have the opportunity to be part of something BIG! Thank you to the Suffolk County Public Library Directors Association and the Suffolk Cooperative Library System for sharing this opportunity with the rest of the state. 


The Great Give Back 2019 - New York State Map


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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.

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Hudson Valley communities and organizations are joining forces to promote and take part in Climate Week 2019, September 23-29, a global educational event. This year, Sustainable Hudson Valley and the Hudson Valley Climate Solutions Network are promoting a high profile, action-oriented program with support from the New York Library Association’s Sustainability Thinking and Action Round Table. A speaker’s bureau has been created and is available to support community organizations, schools, workplaces, houses of worship and municipalities throughout the Hudson Valley in organizing events that focus on actions we can all take now. 

What can you do to promote climate week at your library?

For more info, contact Dorna Schroeter at hvdrawdown@gmail.com.

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