Published on September 14, 2022
For Immediate Release
September 14, 2022
Aileen Basuljevic and Beth Green, School Library Media Specialists, are Certified Sustainable
The Sustainable Libraries Initiative has recognized Aileen Basuljevic and Beth Green as Certified Sustainable School Media Specialists
New York State – September 14, 2022 – Aileen Basuljevic and Beth Green, School Library Media Specialists in the Wappingers Central School District, have been certified through the award-winning Sustainable Library Certification Program. This program, developed by the Sustainable Libraries Initiative, has a path to certification designed specifically for School Librarians.
This program guides School Librarians through active and reflective work in five categories including Community Involvement, Social Equity and Resiliency, and Leading Beyond the Library. The work done towards their certification is based on integrating the principles of triple bottom line sustainability, which includes environmental stewardship, social equity, and financial responsibility, into their programs and practice. Participants in the Certification Program work through a series of actions over the course of the school year. These are a combination of required actions, the same for all participants, and recommended actions, that are chosen from several suggested actions.
While Aileen and Beth work to keep equity in the two district libraries, as they worked through this program they were each able to focus on areas unique to their own interests and in response to the distinct needs of each of their schools. Pursuing this certification simultaneously, they were able to collaborate and motivate each other through the process. In reflecting on what drew her to pursue this certification, Aileen states, “I am always trying to find new ways to reinvent and keep the program relevant to the ever-changing education landscape.”
Working through the program helped to identify changes in their practices that could benefit students and demonstrate the principles of sustainability in practice. For Beth, this brought about a reduction in her paper use through printing fewer copies of coloring sheets and activities and finding new uses for scrap paper as craft material and hall passes. Aileen identified areas to improve including pledging to incorporate recycled materials into the library’s Makerspace and STEAM lessons. As each worked through the New York State School Library Program rubric, they identified areas to improve and proposed new pathways to engage teachers and students. Looking back on the certification process, Beth states:
“Along with the environmentally friendly changes, I have also done self-reflection about what truly matters for my students and THEIR library space. If I am able to provide a safe space where students WANT to be, then at the end of my service at Wappingers Junior High School, then I have truly done my job.”
Participants in the Sustainable Library Certification Program for School Librarians receive individual guidance from a mentor and regularly scheduled online group meetups throughout the school year. Working together, sharing resources, and networking with other school librarians who are advancing the principles of sustainability in their buildings make this program an enriching opportunity for school librarians.
The Sustainable Library Certification Program is now enrolling School Librarians throughout New York State, Public Libraries nationwide, and will launch an Academic Library Certification Program later this year.
For more information:
Annemarie Gordon, Sustainability Coordinator