Sustainability Initiative FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

The SLI is a project of the New York Library Association created in response to the New York Library Association and American Library Association each passing Resolutions on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries. These governance resolutions acknowledge the important role libraries can play in larger community conversations about resiliency, climate change, and a sustainable future. Both associations enthusiastically encourage activities by their members – and themselves – to be proactive in their application of sustainable thinking in the areas of their facilities, operations, policy, technology, programming, and partnerships.

The Initiative is designed to provide the tools and resources library leaders need to incorporate sustainability as a core value in their work, just as the American Library Association has adopted sustainability as a core value of the profession.

Sustainability is much more green design applied through strategies such as the use of solar panels and LED lights. It’s the capacity to thrive. Both ALA and NYLA have adopted the Triple Bottom Line definition of sustainability. This consists of practices that are environmentally sound, economically feasible, and socially equitable. Libraries play an important and unique role in promoting community awareness about resilience, climate change, and a sustainable future.

The New York Library Association is a member-driven organization. The committee that has designed and overseen this work are library leaders, likely just like you, who dedicate their time, talent, and energy to helping their peers in the belief that we are stronger and more effective when we work together. You can see who, specifically, is doing the work behind the scenes here.

Our Venture Investors included the Leadership and Management Section (LAMS) and Public Libraries Section (PLS) of NYLA; the Public Library Systems Directors Organization of New York (PULISDO); Suffolk Cooperative Library System; and the Suffolk County Library Association (SCLA).

Our corporate partners in this work include Library Market, Capira Technologies, LLC, Green Team Spirit, Marie Coons Design, and Sandpebble Construction Project Management.

The Council of the New York Library Association, our Venture Investors, donors ,and some of our corporate partners have worked hard to supplement the volunteer efforts of its members and invest the early funds to get the work of this initiative off the ground, to create a professional, market-tested product the library profession has never seen or had access to before. However, a sustained initiative needs sustained revenue to cover the on-going costs related to the program. The membership fee helps to underwrite the licensing agreements with Green Team Spirit, Library Market, and related administrative expenses of the New York Library Association.

Thank you for your desire to invest in the future of our profession! All donations are 100% tax deductible: https://www.nyla.org/donate/formsifc.html