Mid-Hudson Library System completes Sustainable Library Certification

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Executive Director of MHLS announcement. – “We are very proud to share that our organization is the first public library system to complete the Sustainable Library Certification Program. We have been involved in this process for just over 5-years and it has been such an interesting journey.

I’d like to thank our MHLS Sustainability Initiative Team members, our full staff, our board, and many of you – our early adopters (MHLS members in the SLCP, Library of Local participants in particular who are learning alongside us) – for all of the hard work to get us to today. This effort involved policy work, research and analysis, education, trial and error, and a commitment to use the triple bottom line of environmental stewardship/social equity/and economic feasibility to think through how we do things here in this organization.

As a result we do things differently here than in a lot of organizations and we do so deliberately. We think about the environmental impact of things we purchase. We work to reduce our energy consumption. We look for less toxic ways to clean our facility and maintain our property. We took a hard look at our practices from an equity, diversity, and inclusion standpoint and have begun to adjust accordingly. And we are spending considerable time building a better financial safety net for our organization.

There is no doubt that more environmental, societal, and financial disruption will come our way in the years to come, but we believe that thanks to the work done and being done through this program, our organization will be more prepared for whatever comes next.

Next up will be an effort to help you, our members, get a leg up on some of this work by learning from  our experience in the certification program as well as from the experiences of the other 70 libraries across the country involved in the program. We will also visit some of the recommended actions in the program that we didn’t get to the first time around and continue to work through our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination.

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