York Public Library is committed to a sustainable future.

Fulfilling our mission requires intentional examination of best practices to ensure we’re here to support the York community for years to come.

Sustainability is a core component of our mission and values. We are committed to reducing the Library’s carbon footprint, curbing waste, and providing resources for York citizens as our town works toward the goals outlined in the York Climate Action Plan.

To that end, York Public Library enrolled in the Sustainable Library Certification Program (SLCP) in October 2022, an ambitious commitment to over 100 action items to help the Library practice and promote sustainability in our community. The program, created by the Sustainable Libraries Initiative, divides the action items across twelve categories: Organizational Commitment; Energy; Materials Management: Waste & Recycling; Materials Management: Purchasing; Transportation; Land Use; Water; Collective Impact; Social Cohesion; Community Resilience; Financial Sustainability; and Collections.

Sustainable Libraries Initiative

The Sustainable Library Certification Program focuses leadership to enable the library, and ultimately the community, to become more environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically feasible.

Program Goals:

  • Create an organizational culture that asks the right questions about operational and outreach decisions
  • Engage administration, staff, and board members/administration in a new way of thinking and collaborating
  • Inspire our colleagues and community to join our efforts
  • Reduce our greenhouse gasses, energy intake, and waste output
  • Help to future proof our organization, our profession, and our community

Watch on Demand: Climate Programming @YPL

In collaboration with York organizations and groups across the state, York Public Library has hosted two series of climate programming. In 2022, our series The Future is Now: Our Climate Realities  focused on the effects of climate change felt locally and globally. In 2023, our series titled The Climate is Changing and So Can You highlighted actions we can take to prevent the devastating effects of climate change.  All programs have been recorded and are available to view now.

The Future Is Now - Climate Realities

The York Climate Action Plan

The Climate Action Plan (CAP) process began in 2019 with the recommendation of the
York Energy Steering Committee, then chaired by Rozanna Patane, to cut the community’s
GHG emissions and join the 11,000 city Global Covenant of Mayors by pledging to reduce
the community’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
That commitment was adopted by the Selectboard in that same year.

 York Climate Action Plan


DID YOU KNOW... York Public Library is a Climate Resilience Hub!

Climate Resilience Hubs are community institutions — libraries, churches, schools, nonprofits, local businesses and others — that help educate residents about extreme weather preparedness and other impacts of climate change. Hubs help residents respond to extreme weather events through material assistance such as phone charging during a power outage, air conditioning during a heatwave, or heat during a deep freeze. Hubs provide public programming on resilience and resources for actions that individuals can take to ensure their security during extreme weather. 

Climate Resilience Hub

Current Action Items In Progress:

  • Board approval of Sustainability and Purchasing Policies
  • Appointment of Library Sustainability & Implementation team
  • Collect energy, fuel, mileage and water usage data for the past two years
  • Overall Progress 7% 7%

Last Update: Jul 19, 2023 @ 11:05 am

Completed Action Items:

  • Complete Energy Audit ✔
  • Perform Trash Audit ✔
  • Develop Sustainability Policy ✔
  • Amend Purchasing Policy to prioritize environmental and socially responsible purchasing ✔