The Kinderhook Library and Sustainability

Have you seen our Sustainability Collection? These books are perfect for helping our residents get started on leading the sustainable lives they want.

When we expanded and renovated our building in 2018, we did so with sustainability and resiliency in mind. Our belief was that libraries should be leaders in their community when it comes to lowering our dependence on greenhouse gases and developing sustainable funding sources. To this end, our renovation saw many improvements to help with this mission, such as the replacement of incandescent and florescent lights with CFLs and LEDs, replacement of our fuel oil with more sustainable propane, the installation of under-sink electric heaters for hot water, and updating of our windows where possible to better retain heat. We also ensured that for the first time ever, our library was fully ADA compliant by building stacks that allowed free movement and public restrooms with appropriate fixtures and space.

In 2022, our we gladly joined the Sustainable Libraries Initiative, a certification program in which libraries accomplish various tasks to ensure that they are doing all they can to be a truly sustainable institution. By adopting the Triple Bottom Line, which balances environmental stewardship, economic feasibility, and social equability, we are working every day to ensure that our library will be there for our community for many years to come.

Our trustees and volunteers helped complete a waste audit, ensuring that the trash, recycling, and compostables were properly sorted.

Since joining the SLI, we have engaged in a number of exercises and made a number of changes to help us reach our goals. We had an official NYSERDA Energy Audit completed, which helped identify locations where we could improve our building’s carbon footprint; we have adopted and updated policies to incorporate ideals represented in the Triple Bottom Line to ensure that we stay true to our ideals and beliefs; we have engaged the community in a number of ways, such as programs on green energy, our ever-popular NexTrex Recycling Challenge, and Meatless Mondays; we have invested wisely to make sure that the taxes that our residents invest in us are being used in the best way possible; and we have established a lawn and garden that is comprised of native plants and perfect for pollinators.

Thanks to our patrons recycling efforts, we were able to provide a bench to the Town of Stuyvesant from the NexTrex Recycling Challenge!

These are just a small sample of what we have accomplished recently, and we have many plans for the future! Look for upcoming community conversations, where we reach out to community members to help inform our decision making, more resiliency programming to inform residents on how to act in the event of an emergency, and more sustainable technology at the library like heat pumps. We are excited to look toward the future, and we hop you are too! Please stop by the library anytime to discuss our sustainability initiatives with our director, and hear about the many plans we have going forward.

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