Congratulations! Kinderhook Memorial Library is Certified Sustainable!

Published on March 22, 2024

SLI logo


For Immediate Release
March 22, 2024 

                                                                       Kinderhook Memorial Library is Certified Sustainable
                                                         The Sustainable Libraries Initiative recognizes Kinderhook Memorial Library
                                                                                               as a leader in sustainability

Kinderhook Memorial Library Photo


                 SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY, March 22, 2024 - Kinderhook Memorial Library located in Kinderhook, New York has been designated a “Certified Sustainable Library” through the Sustainable Libraries Initiative’s award-winning Sustainable Library Certification Program (SLCP).

Following a major renovation and expansion project completed in 2018, the Kinderhook Memorial Library found opportunity in the Sustainable Library Certification Program to continue improving not only the physical framework of their building, but also their policies and philosophies. In April of 2022, the library Board of Trustees voted to pursue certification, agreeing to make a strong commitment to sustainability for their library and community. Matthew Pavloff, the library’s director, provided his insight on Kinderhook’s successful two-year journey to certification:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have received our certification! Our board, our staff, our Friends group, and our community have all collaboratively helped us reach this point. It’s such a great feeling to see everyone’s hard work and commitment have such a positive impact on the Library. We are excited to be a leader in sustainability and plan to keep this momentum going!”

Kinderhook Memorial Library completed a wide array of remarkable accomplishments during their pursuance of certification. Perhaps most notably was their dedication to finding waste disposal solutions through a number of different recycling programs. Sustainably managing a collection can be a challenge, yet Kinderhook found results in donating unwanted materials to their Friends of the Library book sales, local schools and churches, community organizations, or Little Free Libraries. Materials too damaged for reusing were mulched and used on a local farm.

Kinderhook also participated in the popular NexTrex challenge: not only once, but four times. In total, the library has recycled over 2,000 pounds of plastic and earned 4 free recycled-plastic benches which they gave back to their community. The NexTrex challenge was reportedly very popular with patrons, along with their battery recycling program which has recycled over 950 pounds to-date, their CD recycling program on Earth Day last year which recycled over 20 pounds of CDs, and their gathering of recyclable electronics from the community which are refurbished by GE Elfun in the nearby city of Schenectady and gifted to local schools and organizations that cannot afford to purchase necessary electronics.

Other significant achievements included: creating a sustainability collection (ECO), planting a three-season pollinator garden and native trees, loaning out bicycle locks to patrons, inviting firefighters to show off their equipment and tell stories to children, partnering with a local supermarket to promote “Meatless Mondays,” installing three Little Free Libraries in local parks and along trails to ensure access to books, changing signage to be bilingual in English and Spanish, and building their collection of Spanish language books for all ages -- among many others

Kinderhook’s mentor Laura Crisci -- the Sustainability Coordinator for the Mid-Hudson Library System of which Kinderhook is a part of -- expressed the following congratulations:

“Hats off to the Kinderhook Library team that put such thoughtful work into achieving this milestone. It was a pleasure to guide them through this process. I look forward to seeing how the Library builds upon this accomplishment and continues to foster well-being and resilience in the community.”  

This accomplishment marks Kinderhook Memorial Library as the twentieth public library to complete the Sustainable Library Certification Program, an award-winning community of practice designed to provide public libraries, academic libraries, library systems, and school librarians with exclusive resources and guidelines to shift towards a cleaner, greener, and more equitable future.

Kinderhook recognizes that their certification is just the beginning of the road for their pledge on sustainability. Looking forwards, the library has promised to adhere to their new policies; find sustainable solutions when it comes time to replace electronics and other appliances; continue flexible, need-based involvement in their community; create programs focused on mending, renewable energy, native gardening, and disaster preparedness; increase engagement with non-English speakers, and bring events and services outside of their building to make library services more accessible to all. The contributions gifted to the Kinderhook community by their library are beacon of hope, and will continue to provide benefits well into the future.

Want to learn more? View their Final Presentation here.

View More Member News