Finland Oulu, Oulu City Library—“A Responsible Library as Promoter of Environmental Awareness”

 

During 2019-2020, the Oulu City Library implemented A Responsible Library as Promoter of Environmental Awareness project. The objectives of the project were: • promoting environmental awareness among customers and library staff • reducing the environmental impact of library operations • drawing up an action plan for sustainable development. During the project, environmental communication for both customers and staff was significantly increased. All available channels and means were used as means of communication, from social media updates and newsletters to trainings, events, environmental book exhibitions and reading tips. A new green visual look, the Sustainable Library concept, was also designed to support environmental communication. The project also looked at the library’s practices related to energy use, logistics, recycling and collections, and looked for ways to reduce the resulting environmental impact. In the Oulu City Library, e.g. recycling was made more efficient at both customer and staff premises by reorganizing the library’s recycling points and equipping them with sorting signs in accordance with the Sustainable Library concept. 46 water tap nozzles were installed in the main library’s toilets, which can be expected to halve the property’s water consumption. Plasticization was also reduced in all libraries involved in the project, and ways to reduce the use of plastic in library operations are still being considered. However, the most important environmental act of the project was the preparation of an action plan for sustainable development for the Oulu City Library. The Sustainable Library 2030 roadmap supports the library’s environmental work and will make the work more consistent and planned. The roadmap is based on the goals of the UN Agenda 2030 and the ecological promises made by the Oulu City Library in 2015. The project began in August 2019 and lasted until the end of June 2020. The libraries of Ii and Kuusamo municipalities were as partners.