The competition for IFLA Green Library Award was tight, and the quality of the submissions seems to get better year after year. It is also a joy to note that libraries are taking seriously environmental work and wish to promote the UN SDGs.

The Award committee received 28 submissions of which 19 were qualified to the long list and evaluated by our international pool of reviewers. The Award was divided into two categories Best Green Library (including grand scale projects) and more modest Best Green Library projects. The long list was quite impressive and shows that all kinds of libraries are committed to environmental work in every corner of the world. ENSULIB congratulates all libraries accepted into the long list (in alphabetic order).

Green Libraries and Grand Scale projects

  • China: The Library of International Campus, Zhejiang University
  • China: North Library of Suzhou Library
  • Colombia: Biblioteca EPM                                    
  • Estonia: National Library of Estonia               
  • Hungary: “Illyés Gyula” Library of Tolna County          
  • Phillippines: Asian Development Bank Library
  • Singapore: Singapore Management University Libraries
  • UK: Hampshire Library Service
  • Vietnam: Vietnamese-German University Library

Green Library Projects

  • Canada: West Vancouver Memorial Library                 
  • Colombia: Municipal Public library the garden
  • Colombia: Biblioteca Pública Rural La Castellana
  • Croatia: Public library “Petar Preradović”                
  • Italy: Biblioteca Civica Villa Valle
  • Korea: Seoul Metropolitan Library
  • Malaysia: Pustaka Negeri Sarawak
  • Spain: Higher Polytechnic School Library (University of Zaragoza)
  • US: Arlington Public Library
  • US : University Library, San Diego State University

Long list submissions were evaluated by 20 reviewers from around the world and consists of librarians,LIS students and architects. The reviews were done in accordance with the criteria for the Award : IFLA Green Library Award 2023 Evaluation Criteria. These criteria include some general requirements but also innovativeness. Even more weight is given to physical, economic, and social sustainability without underrating the environmental aspects.

All the long list submissions are worth a praise. However, reviewers had to make decisions and give points to submission in accordance with how well they fulfilled the criteria. Finally, in the category Best Green Library & Grand Scale Project three libraries were qualified to the short list. These are (in alphabetic order):

1.      Colombia: Biblioteca EPM

This submission was found complete and impressive but – most of all – it was considered admirable since the library dealt with every aspect of sustainability and sustainability is in core of their strategy. Great social impact and awareness on environmental sustainability.

2.     Hungary: “Illyés Gyula” Library of Tolna County

This submission showed a strong community involvement and included several partnerships with local, national and international organizations. In addition, the Hungarian submission shows a strong will to do something that has a real impact.

3.      Vietnam: Vietnamese-German University Library

 This submission introduced an emblematic building closely linked to the campus and with a design based on energy saving.  Important to note is the effectiveness of creating a work team specialized in carrying out strategic action programs to promote sustainability.

The short list for Best Green Library Project is as follows:

1.      Canada: West Vancouver Memorial Library

This entry has a particularly good emphasis on community (and diversity) and reports the number of attendees to their events as well. The entry is innovative, and reviewers noted that the program combinates fiction and climate programs in new way. Hence, it is a very different and unique project from all the others.

2.      Italy: Biblioteca Civica Villa Valle

This submission introduced more than just a seed library. Long-term effects can be seen as well as a good community engagement.

3.      Korea: Seoul Metropolitan Library

A comprehensive submission with good storytelling. A reviewer noted that was impressive to see a breadth of activities undertaken across various areas of sustainability as well as innovative and creative ways to engage citizens and community they serve.  

The winners will be announced in ENSULIB’s Open session, in IFLA WLIC 2023. It will be a session one should not miss. To learn more about the competition and the great submissions, please visit the Award page.

ENSULIB, May 2023