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Vol. 14-16                                                                                                                      4.22.14
Sustainable Thinking 

Today is Earth Day! Why is this environmental "holiday" of interest to the MHLS library community? The New York Library Association (NYLA) recently passed a resolution that makes the case:


NYLA Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries:

Whereas, libraries are essential to the communities they serve; and


Whereas, library leaders have a mandate to ensure future access to economical library services; and


Whereas, libraries that demonstrate good stewardship of the resources entrusted to them can build their base of support in their communities which leads to sustainable funding; and


Whereas, the scientific community has clearly communicated that current trends in climate change are of great concern to all; and


Whereas, the people who work in our libraries and access services in our facilities deserve a healthy environment in which to do so; and


Whereas, libraries who demonstrate leadership in making sustainable decisions that help to positively address climate change, respect natural resources and create healthy indoor and outdoor environments will stabilize and reduce their long-term energy costs, increase the support for the library in their community; and reveal new sources of funding; therefore be it


Resolved, that the New York Library Association, on behalf of its members, recognizes the important role libraries can play in larger community conversations about resiliency, climate change, and a sustainable future; and be it further


Resolved, that the New York Library Association enthusiastically encourages activities by its membership - and itself - to be proactive in their application of sustainable thinking in the areas of their facilities, operations, policy, technology, programming and partnerships.


Drafted for consideration by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich,
MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability.
Adopted by NYLA Council, February 6, 2014



How can your library "think sustainably"? Here are a few ideas to get you started.  

  • Benchmark the energy consumption at your library.As you begin to reduce your consumption this will help you measure success! Want to get really serious? Check out the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to track energy and water consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions.     
  • Enact an environmentally preferable purchasing policy: When you have the choice to purchase a more environmentally sustainable item (FSC paper, recycled-content folders, green cleaning supplies, etc.) institutionalize that decision making so that staff know what to look for.
  • Does your municipality have a sustainability plan? Find out and explore how your library can be a partner. The City of Kingston adopted the "Climate Smart and Green Jobs Community Pledge" and the Kingston Library board followed suit by aligning their priorities and adopting their own "Climate Smart Community Library Pledge" to show support for the city's plans and to prioritize the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through choices made at the library. 
  • Recycle. If your library is not currently recycling paper, cardboard, aluminum, etc. Start! Find out what your options are to reduce the amount of garbage going into the waste stream  
  • Appropriately dispose of e-waste (computers, monitors) 
  • Apply for a NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Energy Audit to identify areas of your facility that could be addressed to reduce energy consumption. A reduction in energy consumption will likely result in a reduction in operating costs. 
  • Plan story time crafts that use recycled or found materials.
  • Host a NYS Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program at your library. Governor Cuomo launched this program earlier this year: "We want our state's citizens to be the most prepared in the nation for natural disasters as we continue to reimagine New York for a new reality," said Governor Cuomo. "Our first responders displayed incredible skill and dedication during Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Sandy. Through the Citizen Preparedness Corps, New Yorkers will also be better prepared to help their communities. Our goal of training 100,000 New Yorkers to be their own first responder in their communities will make New York even more equipped to face future challenges." Learn more at http://www.prepare.ny.gov/

Hungry for more? Plan to attend the 2014 NYLA Conference in Saratoga this November where Sustainable Thinking will be spotlighted at multiple conference programs! Can't wait? Contact Rebekkah at rsmith@midhudson.org to talk about a sustainability plan for your library.

MHLS Announcements

PSA Produced for NYLA Thanks to Local Partnership: MHLS would like to thank Public Access Northern Dutchess (PANDA 23,) and Station Manager Danielle Maloney in particular, for their assistance in creating a Public Service Announcement for the New York Library Association (NYLA) during the NYS budget negotiations this year. Thanks also goes to Erica Freudenberger, Director of the Red Hook Public Library and Bonny Corrado, Director of the Tivoli Free Library for making the connections between PANDA and MHLS and for helping facilitate the timely production and delivery of the final product. The PSA features photos from MHLS member libraries who participated in SNAPSHOTNY this year! The PSA was distributed through public access stations statewide to urge library supporters to reach out to Governor Cuomo. We've loaded the PSA on YouTube so you can check it out too!

Youth Services
Join the Kids' Port Content Advisory Group! We would like to thank the MHLS Kids Port Content Advisory Group (Barbara Flach, Greenville Public Library; Stephanie McElrath, Saugerties Public Library and Terry Connors, Beekman Library) who worked this year to help revive Kids' Port http://kidsport.midhudson.org/ The group built on the foundation that was already there, weeded out a lot of old content and suggested new links. At this point we are putting out an open call for additional people to work with the advisory group to suggest links. If you have someone on your staff who would like to use/develop their information finding skills for K-6 please email Merribeth Advocate, MHLS Assistant Director at  madvocate@midhudson.org
Trustee Resources

Don't forget! The NYS Library Trustee Association's Trustee Institute is being held in Tarrytown, NY (Westchester County) this year! "Challenging the Past to Create the Future" at the Westchester Marriot; Tarrytown, NY; May 2 & 3. For more information and to register please visit: http://www.librarytrustees.org/institute.php

Administration & Management

The Roundtable for New Directors will meet after the Director's Association meeting on Tuesday, May 6th. This roundtable is designed for directors who have been in their positions for three (3) years or less. Our topic will be best practices for working with your board with special guest Patti Haar, Director of the Patterson Library.

MHLS recommends that the minimum starting salary of a full or part-time librarian with an MLS degree be at least equal to that of a teacher with a master's degree in the same community.


Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: bulletin@midhudson.org

The MHLS Bulletin is available online at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.