Published on August 16, 2023
Harborfields Public Library is Certified Sustainable
The Sustainable Libraries Initiative recognizes Harborfields Public Library as a leader in sustainability.
Suffolk County, NY – August 16, 2023 – Harborfields Public Library on Long Island New York has been designated a “Certified Sustainable Library” through the Sustainable Libraries Initiative’s award-winning Sustainable Libraries Certification Program.
Harborfields Library began working towards certification through the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program in September 2021. The process involved the entire staff and community members in some way or another. Serving as Harborfields' Mentor, Lisa Kropp, Director of the Lindenhurst Memorial Library, shared her experience witnessing their journey towards certification and what it meant to her:
"Harborfields Public Library happens to be my hometown library, so serving as their mentor as they embarked on this comprehensive program, was so special. I've seen such a transformation in philosophy, in services, and programs offered to the community. Their work with the Robert Kubecka Memorial Organic Community Garden, and donating the vegetables grown back to the local community, was especially inspiring to see!"
There were many challenges that the library administration and staff experienced as they worked through the certification program’s different benchmarks, particularly returning to the level of service after a major pandemic. The library was able to reestablish stability while demonstrating resilience after this period of disruption. Another big challenge was working within the constraints of an almost 100-year-old building. This involved completing upgrades to the library’s energy system that included improvements in the building’s lighting, HVAC, technology and appliances. The library also faced another obstacle in renegotiating their waste disposal contract with a private carting company to include recycling paper waste and cardboard since the town’s recycling program had been discontinued.
Other notable achievements include: creating and accepting sustainable policies, expanding their relationships with both non-profits and for-profit organizations in their area, conducting shredding and e-waste events, planting native plants around the library property, installing ADA accessible picnic tables and a charging station, as well as hosting a Repair Cafe and a Bike Rodeo.
Assistant Director Linda Meglio commented on Harborfields' experience going through the certification process: "The certification process gave us a focus on how we could align our library's core values and resources not to simply exist, but to thrive and continue our efforts at being environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically feasible leading our community for generations to come. Thanks to many our certification is complete, but our work maintaining sustainable practices continues on."
Harborfields Public Library is among a growing number of libraries nationwide that are participating in the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program, the first of its kind in the world. This benchmarking program was developed to assist libraries of all kinds – public and academic libraries, library systems, and individual school librarians - to create opportunities to make better choices on behalf of the local and global community.
To view their Certification Presentation, click here.