The Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library has joined the Sustainable Libraries Initiative with the goal of completing The Sustainable Libraries Certification Program (SLCP).  The SLCP provides library leaders with a tested, structured path forward to increase the library’s commitment to environmental stewardship, economic feasibility, and social equity.

Triple Bottom Line

Sustainable thinking aligns a library’s core values and resources with the local and global community’s right to endure, to bounce back from disruption, and to thrive by bringing new and energetic life to fruition through choices made in all areas of library operations and outreach.

Sustainability is much more than green design applied through strategies such as the use of solar panels and LED lights. It’s the capacity to thrive. The ALA, NYLA and SLI have all adopted the Triple Bottom Line definition of sustainability. 

Triple Bottom Line: A concept that is best depicted by the Venn diagram above. To be truly sustainable, an organization must embody practices that are environmentally sound AND economically feasible AND socially equitable.

To achieve certification, our team will work through 12 categories that help align the collective work of the Library with the triple bottom line:

  • Organizational Commitment
  • Energy
  • Materials Management – Waste & Recycling
  • Materials Management – Purchasing
  • Transportation
  • Land Use
  • Water
  • Collective Impact
  • Social Cohesion
  • Community Resilience
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Collections

Each category consists of required and recommended actions that will provide the team with the opportunity to take a closer look at how things are done and/or consumed at the Library and the opportunity to think differently about how we will proceed on the issues in the future.

Examples of some of the activities the Sustainability team will be working on:

-Energy and Waste Audits

-Reviewing Library policies and plans for opportunities to add sustainability language and practices.

-Establishing new partnerships with non-profit and for profit organizations.

-Expanding employee recognition and health and wellness activities.

-Creating a community garden or pollinator garden.

-Identify opportunities to purchase environmentally friendly supplies. 

-Scheduling programs for staff and the community that celebrate our diverse community.  

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