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

June 2019


Rebekkah Smith Aldrich and Rebecca Miller

The NYLA Sustainability Initiative Group was being buzzed about in Aarhus, Denmark at Next Library 2019! NYLA-SI co-creator Rebecca T. Miller and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich used the experiences we have had in NY to help lead a conversation about how to scale up a global network of library professionals working on the topic of sustainability. This led to an audience-driven exercise to determine how we activate such a network.

scrolling blue line with 2 buildings together


Cover of NYLA Sustainability Initiative Road Map Booklet with planet and road and library.

For several years now, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) ENSULIB (Environment, Sustainability and Libraries) has offered a competitive Green Library Award and this year Rebekkah Smith Aldrich and Matt Bollerman’s vision and inspiration for the co-creation of the NYLA Sustainability Initiative was recognized as a runner up - the first United States honoree. For more information about the winner and five runner-ups, see: http://bit.ly/2wSyA5V and also make sure youread the complete NYLA-SI essay.  Matt and Rebekkah will be travelling to Athens, Greece to the IFLA event with their families to give a presentation titled “All Together...How? Building Capacity for Change”

scrolling blue line with 2 buildings together


partnership and community notes from SLS conference session.

In October of 2018 Dr. Jen Cannell, Jill Leinung and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich presented at the annual School Library Journal Summit in Brooklyn, NY.  To a national audience they spoke about the opportunity to make "good trouble" by focusing on the triple bottom line of sustainability through professional practice, curriculum design, and community outreach.

Last month, Jen and Jill were able to bring a more specific message to NY librarians at the annual NYLA-SLS conference in Syracuse. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the Sustainable Library Certification Program for school librarians. This custom benchmarking program was co-created by the hard work of Dr. Jen Cannell, Jill Leinung, Annie Gersztoff, Geoff Kirkpatrick, and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich. The team designed this with school librarian’s in mind, with a scope towards the librarians role and to assist librarians to make the case that they are essential partners in the schools in which they work and contribute. The process is two steps using the School Library Program Rubric and custom benchmarks created by the benchmark team. The custom benchmark subtopics are Partnerships and Community Involvement, Leading Beyond the Library, Social Equity and Resilience, Curriculum and Collections.

“We were thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response that we received from school librarians and school library system directors at the SSL Conference. I think school librarians are eager to reflect on their practice and to challenge themselves in new ways.”—Jen Cannell

To learn more and to become a member of the first cohort, please contact Jen Cannell at jen.cannell@neric.org.  It is anticipated that this work will begin in August.

scrolling blue line with 2 buildings together


great giveback logo

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 connecting citizens willing to help with 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 19th, 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.

scrolling blue line with house


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 2 buildings together


green business partnership logo.

These organizations have been certified as a Green Business as part of the Sustainable Library Certification Program. Certification with the GBP is the first phase of the certification process for public libraries.

  • Hendrick Hudson Free Library
  • Kirkland Town Library
  • Lindenhurst Memorial Library
  • North Babylon Public  Library
  • Saratoga Springs Public Library
  • Suffolk Cooperative Library System

Hendrick Hudson Free Library and Saratoga Springs Public Library have both received full Certification as a Sustainable Library by NYLA. That means they’ve proven board and staff commitment to sustainability in 12 distinct areas of the organization including policy, collections, energy and materials use, community partnerships and more. Don’t delay, get with the program today!

scrolling blue line with 2 buildings together

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.