Matthew Bollerman | Movers & Shakers 2020–Advocates

Matthew Bollerman is not only a tenacious steward of his own library but of libraries everywhere. As director of Westhampton Free Library, NY, during construction of its LEED Gold facility, Bollerman saw how a building project could impact the surrounding environment. When he and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System executive director (and LJ columnist and 2010 Mover & Shaker) attended the 2013 U.S. Green Building Council conference, both wondered why libraries weren’t stepping up their sustainability game.

Sidsel Bech-Petersen

CURRENT POSITION

Chief Executive Officer, Hauppauge Public Library, NY

DEGREE

MLS, Queens College, CUNY, 1996

AWARDS

LDA Award for Excellence in Library Achievement, 2019

FAST FACT

Bollerman started “The Buzz,” a library-based webpage with local news and events.

FOLLOW

@bollermn; hauppaugelibrary.org; sustainablelibrariesinitiative.org; ala.org/rt/sustainrt

Photo by Bob Schatz

 

Sustainable  Impact

Matthew Bollerman is not only a tenacious steward of his own library but of libraries everywhere. As director of Westhampton Free Library, NY, during construction of its LEED Gold facility, Bollerman saw how a building project could impact the surrounding environment. When he and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System executive director (and LJ columnist and 2010 Mover & Shaker) attended the 2013 U.S. Green Building Council conference, both wondered why libraries weren’t stepping up their sustainability game. They decided to act.

They began by educating leadership of the New York Library Association (NYLA), building consensus that libraries should lead on environmental issues, and in 2015 brought the NYLA Sustainability Initiative (SI) to life with 20 co-creators.

Five years in, the all-volunteer effort offers guidelines and webinars, and works with 50 libraries using the NYLA Sustainability Certification Program, which outlines realistic goals and benchmarks. Bollerman also led work on the NYLA-SI Road Map to Sustainability, as well as a free mobile app.

NYLA-SI is "a groundbreaking project that has literally changed the course of…our profession," says Aldrich. For proof, look no further than the American Library Association’s 2019 adoption of sustainability as a core value. Bollerman serves as an ALA councilor, the first from the Sustainability Roundtable.

"The ripple effect has been amazing," says Bollerman. "The local, state, national, and international conversation amongst librarians has altered as we have been on this journey." 

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