Tell us about your experience going through the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program. Share your experience

(Disclaimer: By completing this form you are agreeing to let the Sustainable Libraries Initiative post your written testimonial on our public website)

The following testimonials are from SLCP members who are currently enrolled in or have completed the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program (SLCP)


" Completing the Sustainable Libraries Certification was a crucial step in the sustainability path of Valencia College libraries. As a result of this process, our knowledge has increased, particularly regarding the socially equitable work that Valencia libraries do in serving our historically underrepresented and vulnerable student populations. Our libraries are committed to supporting our diverse student population and ensuring equal access to resources and fostering a sense of belonging. Moreover, we look forward to continuing our work with the Office of Sustainability to reach the College’s goal of becoming carbon neutrality by 2050."-  Nardia Cumberbatch, Librarian, Valencia College, Orlando, FL

"The Suffolk Cooperative Library System is very proud to have achieved our Sustainable Libraries Initiative certification. The program is one that we believe in deeply. As our system worked our way through the certification process we were able to learn much about ourselves and incorporate the tenets of the SLI into our organizational thinking. Our staff and board were fully invested in this process and we see our certification as a great achievement for SCLS. We will now look forward to continuing to grow SCLS' commitment to environmental stewardship, economic feasibility, and social equity."-  Kevin Verbesey, System Director, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

“Prodell Library continues to thrive because we are always crafting to meet the needs of curious middle schoolers today and tomorrow. The Sustainable Library Certification Program helped to guide reflection and care to those very practices that fuel our space-for that time I am grateful and inspired.”-  Ann-Marie Kalin, School Librarian, Albert G. Prodell Midddle School, Shoreham, NY

"Going through the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program, Claire reflects, has been an educational process not only for her but for her colleagues and community. She demonstrates a deep understanding of what it means to be a certified sustainable librarian and continues to implement sustainable practices into the program to teach her students how to make informed sustainable decisions for the rest of their lives. Her work is truly remarkable, which has gained her much deserved recognition for her many achievements."-  Claire Mitchell, Teacher-Librarian, Fairfield Elementary School, Massapequa, NY

"One of the best things about the Sustainable Libraries Initiative / Certification is that it synthesizes what are for me the most influential shifts in the library profession in the past decade: turning outward (Aspen Institute), equity-diversity-inclusion work, asset-based community development work, responding to the climate crisis, and to some extent outcome evaluation. I've engaged with all of these concepts, but have despaired at the challenge of following through -- it started to feel like "the flavor of the month." SLI brings all those threads together in a comprehensive framework with actionable steps. I'm so grateful!" -  Amy Grasmick, Director, Kimball Public Library, Randolph VT

"I truly think that going through the SLI process as a new director has helped me to understand so many aspects of my job as it relates to my staff, my building, my community, and the relations among all of those things. I came into this job at a library that hadn't had a director for a few months; I had to figure a lot out as I went along. Working through the SLI process with our committee gave me small, manageable goals and allowed me to explore so many areas that I didn't have previous experience with. From community outreach and building partnerships with for profit & non profit agencies, to fiscal tasks like evaluating the communities ROI or making pay scale changes for the benefit of our staff, to creating policies to reinforce out commitment to the pillars of sustainability, it has all helped me have a greater understanding of my role. I highly recommend this process, even to brand new directors because of that. The learning curve is steep for us, but this truly helped scaffold those first months of learning into manageable chunks and I feel like I have a much deeper understanding of the day to day functioning as well as where we are headed in the future due to working through this process." -  Cheryl Jones, Library Director, Mamakating Library

“Along with the environmentally friendly changes, I have also done self-reflection about what truly matters for my students and THEIR library space. If I am able to provide a safe space where students WANT to be, then at the end of my service at Wappingers Junior High School, then I have truly done my job.” - Aileen Basuljevic and Beth Green, School Library Media Specialists, Wappingers Central School District

Everything we do now is looked at differently. Purchases, procedures, policies are put through the Triple Bottom Line lens. We want to be Environmentally Sound, Socially Equitable and Economically Feasible in our decision making.” -   Debbie Engelhardt, Library Director, Comsewogue Public Library, Port Jefferson Station, NY

“This certification brought renewed excitement about the University Libraries and a revitalized realization about the Libraries' connection to sustainability and related initiatives.” -  Michelle Young, Dean of Libraries, Clarkson University

“I believe a school librarian has a unique responsibility to always be current in teaching trends, collection development needs, technology, advocacy for literary needs, while also keeping a birds eye view of the curricular needs throughout the grade levels. School librarians can speak to vertical and horizontal alignment in a way many people cannot, and have a unique ability to see trends within student learning to help students achieve... the school library is a great place to develop connections with students and families through programs created and run by the school libraries, like the High School Internship Program or MS Minecraft Club or Elementary Lego Robotics or Newspaper Club...The SLCP helped me clearly articulate the many aspects of being a school librarian and the clear benefit of a school librarian in any school.” -  Paula Michalak, District Librarian at the Silver Creek Central School District in Silver Creek, NY

“Once the concept of the Triple Bottom Line Sustainability was established as the baseline for this work, it was clear to us that every single area of the library would improve with this effort. The pandemic slowed us down a bit, but we’re excited to move forward using the sustainability lens for decision-making and relationship building.” -  Claudia Depkin, Library Director, Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library, Garnerville, New York

"Sustainability is an essential and conscious decision when doing business today. As a public library, through staff and community interaction we have developed new ways to explore sustainability. As we look to the future, we will continue to implement sustainability in the workplace. As we develop library programming for the community and plan future building and property renovation projects, we will incorporate environmental sensitivity into our design." -  Thomas Tarantowicz, Library Director, Brentwood Public Library