In February, 2023 Curtis Memorial Library became the first “Certified Sustainable Library” outside of New York State, through the Sustainable Library Initiative. From the February 22 press release: Curtis Memorial Library is among a growing number of libraries nationwide that are participating in the Sustainable Library Certification Program, the first of its kind in the world. This benchmarking program was developed to assist libraries of all kinds – public, academic, and individual school librarians – to create opportunities to make better choices on behalf of the local and global community.

Curtis Library updated its strategic plan in 2020.  One of the key elements of that plan is for the Library to focus on promoting sustainability as part of its core mission.  This position mirrors that of the American Library Association’s definition of sustainability as a core value of librarianship nationally:

In adopting sustainability as a core value of librarianship, the ALA recognizes the findings in the latest report of the United National Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report, written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies, found that the immediate consequences of climate change are far more dire than originally predicted, calling for a transformation of the world economy at a speed and scale that has  “no documented historic precedent.”

From the

sustainable libraries initiative logo
  • To be an example of sustainable practices for community

  • To educate community members as to how they can adopt sustainable practices

  • To reduce the carbon footprint of Curtis Memorial Library over the next three years

  • To support social equity in our community, understanding that social equity or environmental justice is completely in line with the core values of librarianship defined by the ALA and subscribed to by Curtis Memorial Library.

To support this initiative Curtis Library:

  • Adopted a Sustainability Policy, approved by the Board of Directors, which may be read here.

  • Continues to plan programming and education opportunities at the Library for all age groups. This continues the work that the Library has done over the past five years, a partial list of which can be found here.

  • Joined the Sustainable Libraries Initiative and became a Certified Sustainable Library in 2023.

  • Has partnered with Darling’s Ford of Brunswick who has provided the Library with an electric van which will be used as a bookmobile by the Library and will be launched in 2023.

  • Has developed a plan and obtained funding for creating an electric charging station at the Library that will be available to the public as well as provide charging capabilities for the new Library van.

  • With the support of the Town of Brunswick has installed new carpeting throughout the Library (which has been planned for several years) that is carbon neutral and will result in the retirement of 23 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of the emissions from a car travelling 57,803 miles.

  • Again, with the support of the Town of Brunswick has replaced all traditional incandescent lighting at the Library with LED bulbs.

Curtis Library will continue to work to support this initiative at the Library and in the community and welcomes the participation of all in this important effort.