Congratulations! Michelle Statfeld, School Library Media Specialist at the West Babylon Junior High School

Published on August 9, 2023

                               Michelle Statfeld, School Library Media Specialist at the West Babylon Junior High School, is Certified Sustainable

                                                    The Sustainable Libraries Initiative recognizes Michelle Statfeld as a leader in sustainability.

Michelle Statfeld - School Library Media Specialist

Suffolk County, NY – August 9, 2023 - Michelle Statfeld, School Library Media Specialist at the West Babylon Junior High School of the West Babylon Union Free School District, in West Babylon, NY has been certified through the award-winning Sustainable Library Certification Program.

Michelle is one of six School Library Media Specialists in New York State to be certified sustainable through the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program. Michelle’s mentor, Dr. Jen Cannell had the following comment about working with Michelle on her journey towards completing her certification:

“I was impressed by Michelle’s ability to reflect on herself as an educator and library leader. She used the results from completing the School Library Program Rubric to strategically determine how she wanted to approach the benchmarks to ensure that her work would have the greatest impact on students. Michelle values her community and is working to develop meaningful partnerships that elevate everyone’s work.”

The comprehensive Sustainable Libraries Certification Program for School Librarians requires each member to work through five categories: Community Involvement, Leading Beyond the Library, Social Equity and Resiliency. Standards and Curriculum, and Collections. These categories all cover aspects of the key elements of the Triple Bottom Line of sustainability adopted by the Sustainable Libraries Initiative; environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically viable. Program members work through both required and recommended actions to identify those that are most beneficial to their libraries and that best tell their stories of sustainability practices. 

Over the course of the certification process, Michelle’s focus on the social equity component and leading beyond the library demonstrated outstanding efforts. One of the required actions for participants to complete is creating new relationships with both non-profit & for-profit businesses and organizations. One example that underlines this is the relationship she’s built with Book Fairies. Michelle created a book drive in honor of PS I Love You Day/Week working with Book Fairies that has been successful for the past two years. Her students were fully engaged, working diligently from creation until the books were picked up attracting coverage from the local media. 

As a member of the Wellness Committee, Michelle expressed concern about students' excessive screen time. With the support of the Assistant Principal, she shared engaging activities and ideas for families to unplug, spend quality time together, and take a break from entertainment screens. Michelle aims to expand this initiative to West Babylon Junior High School's Future Screen Free Week, ensuring that the entire school community embraces the benefits of unplugging and experiencing alternative ways to connect. 

Michelle is a natural networker, who enjoys connecting potential partners to help further the sustainability efforts in her school district. Already a well decorated library professional, Michelle has been recognized with the Suffolk School Library Media Association’s (SSLMA) Fresh Start Award, the recipient of the 2023 SSLMA Library Grant, and was chosen to be a teacher leader for the 2023-2024 Smart Start Training Program. With her completion of the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program added to her accomplishments, Michelle has already sustained a career of continued success that will not only benefit her but other library professionals.

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