ENSULIB and Children & Young Adults sections had an Open Session in IFLA WLIC 28th July (Session 152), with the theme of Climate Action in Libraries: Creating a More Sustainable Future by Engaging and Inspiring Youth.  Open session was a great success with about 120 participants and consisted of invited speakers and workshop discussions.

Invited speakers:

  1. Libraries Inspiring Young People toward Sustainable Futures: A Danish Example  by Søren Dahl Mortensen, Odense Central Library, Denmark
  2. Croatian Libraries Engaging Youth in Sustainable Practices by Alica Kolaric, University of Zadar, Croatia
  3. Training for Teachers and Librarians About Sustainability Through Picture Books and Comics. An Example from the Bibliothéque Nationale de France (BnF) by Emilie Bettega, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, France
  4. Youth and Environmental Emotions Project – Public Libraries Supporting Youth to Treat and Express Their Emotions and Views Concerning Environmental Issues by Veera Visuri, Helsinki City Library, Finland
  5. Tales, Videos, Games and Environmental Education to Engage Children and Young Adults: Looking for Funny Approaches to get Involved With SDGs from RECIDA (Spain) by Rosario Toril Moreno, National Centre of Environmental Education, National Parks Autonomous Agency, Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Spain
  6.  Green Initiatives Towards a Sustainable Future: Insights From Libraries in Kenya by Arnold Mwanzu, Aga Khan University, Kenya

During the workshop, participants discussed on what has been done in their libraries to promote sustainability with respect to children and youth but also the best ideas they had picked up from the speakers.

Medley of the ideas from the participants, edited by themes

Literally greener or growing library for children and youth

·       Library greenhouse / gardens / grow your food / seed library / community gardens – In Ireland libraries have encouraged people to grow beans à sustainable food.·       

·      Bee gardens / bug houses / bat houses

Circulating things – it is not necessary to own everything if one can borrow it from the local library

·       Library of things (which interest youth)   –   workshops sewing party decoration which can be lend from library

·       Lending e-cycles, or cargocycles to transport light cargos, delivery vechiles

·       Tool kits (for young people moving away from home)

·       Eco gifting workshop

·       Clothes borrowing for (work) interviews

Let’s go outside with children and youth and learn more about environment and do some real things

·       Story Walks/Eco Walks on sustainable themes

·       Litter pickers from libraries to keep the neighborhood clean
(here one might add that many libraries teach recycling and sorting and have also “cleaning days” in the neightborhood.)

Green information is libraries’ business, but let us not forgot children and youth – they need information taylored for their special needs

·       Survival kits for children and youth

·       Blogs about the environment (fiction/non-fiction)

·       Debates with youth and experts / politicians, safe space for discussions 

–  Teaching how to discuss things with respect  

–   Having different generations read a stimulus + then discuss

·       Info literacy à critical thinking + evaluating info on social media

·      Datawaste awareness – digital pollution

Greener building for youth – do as I do, not just as I say… hence, let us tell children and youth what we really do for sustainability

·       Water refill stations – no plastic bottles to the library (like in CORK)

·       Toilet – in the library: what happens to the waste etc. (information packets)

·       Sustainable energy sources in libraries (solar panels)

·       Challenging all staff to include climate action