On 19 August, IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section (ENSULIB) and Public Libraries Section (PLS) , in collaboration with Bibliotheek Midden-Brabant, LocHal (Tilburg), are organising a Satellite Meeting before the 2023 IFLA World Library and Information Congress  in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 

The focus will be on “Libraries as Actors of Climate Empowerment”. Libraries can empower all members of society to engage in climate action. They are deeply connected to their communities and can reach out to people of all demographics. As such, they are in a unique position to raise public awareness and to create platforms for engagement in climate action for all members of society. This one-day conference will emphasise exchange and interaction between participants. Participants will play an active role in shaping the outcome of the day by coming together, sharing ideas and developing plans. With a mix of keynotes, lightning talks and workshops, this will be an engaging and inspiring day.


9.00 – Registration & Coffee

9.30 –  Keynote:  Ton van Vlimmeren (Netherlands) – Libraries Building Sustainable Communities
Ton van Vlimmeren is the President of the European Library Organization (EBLIDA), member of the Standing Committee of the Metropolitan Libraries Section of IFLA and one of the founders of Public Libraries 2030. This keynote will highlight how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can help libraries on their journey towards a sustainable, inclusive, and democratic society


Minna Männikkö (Finland) – Sustainable Library 2030 Roadmap: Climate Action in Oulu, Finland 
In 2020, Oulu City Library implemented a Sustainable Library 2030 Roadmap. Based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the roadmap defines key development areas and sets out implementation plans. It focuses on promoting environmental awareness, reducing environmental impact and responsible construction, with the aim that sustainable development permeates all areas of the library’s daily work. This presentation will outline the roadmap and how it is being used as a long-term tool for climate action in Oulu City Library in Finland.

Sarah Tribelhorn (USA) – Bringing the SDGs Alive in an Academic Library
The San Diego State University Library has mapped its work to the SDGs through a comprehensive analysis of employee roles, projects, and the library website. The process culminated in an exhibition that led to an engaging community discussion and challenged students, staff, and faculty to think critically about how they can contribute to these goals. This presentation will describe the process as a catalyst for community engagement, partnerships, and empowerment around climate awareness and the SDGs.

Nathalice Bezerra Cardoso (Brazil) – Challenges of the SDGs: Case Study of the German Libraries
The SDGs have gained prominence in recent years, and there has been increased discussion on the role and social responsibilities of libraries regarding this issue. This presentation will provide an understanding of how German libraries are contributing to the SDGs. Do the people who are working in the libraries know what the SDGs are about?? Which SDGs are addressed by German public libraries? What services and actions are being developed in German libraries to achieve the SDGs?

11.00 –  Coffee Break 

11.30 – Workshops 

Workshop 1: Beth Filar Williams (USA) – Inner Development Goals: A Collaborative Exploration Workshop
The Inner Development Goals (IDGs) are a framework for accelerating our work towards the SDGs, co-created by diverse, international experts in response to current crises. The IDGs can help us access the deep level beneath the structures so that we can work on ourselves and how we relate to others, care for the world and create change. Participants will be invited to explore this framework in small groups – shifting awareness, connecting with each other and the earth. 

Workshop 2: Liselotte Dessauvagie (Netherlands) – SDGs Bookclub: For a Better Future!
An SDGs Bookclub is an annotated list of selected books that teachers and librarians can use to discuss and explore the SDGs with children (and adults). Suggestions for teaching will accompany the book selection. In this workshop, the Dutch version of the SDGs Bookclub will be presented and the selection will be discussed. Participants will work on a small SDGs Bookclub during the session and explore how the SDGs can help build a better future for all through books.

Workshop 3: Daniel Hackborn (Canada) – MACK Framework: Situating Climate Action in Local Library Contexts
While anthropogenic global warming is inherently a global issue demanding systemic action, developing responses at a local institutional level can be overwhelming. In this workshop, we will introduce the Mitigation-Adaptation-Community-Knowledge (MACK) conceptual model and, using Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton), Canada as a guiding case study, illustrate how this model can be applied to other local libraries in order to clarify and analyse their potential opportunities for climate action.

12:30 – Lunch Break (included in registration) 

13.30 –  Keynote: Jantien Borsboom, Pieternel Thijssen (Netherlands) – Community participation in the SDGs
Since 2016, the SDGs have been a framework for the library of Midden-Brabant. In this keynote, we will tell the story of how the SDGs became a guiding principle for the library. They are now one of the four impact chains. The library of Midden-Brabant has developed a method to work with communities on societal issues, such as the SDGs. We will share how the LocHal library worked offline and online with the community around urban nature, reaching more than 25,000 people.

14.10 – Lighting Talks and Workshop: INSPIRE & EMPOWER: EXAMPLES ACROSS THE GLOBE

Priscilla Pun (China) – 6 Ways to Make Your Library Greener and More Sustainable  This presentation will provide examples of libraries as actors and educators for sustainable development, in line with ENSULIB’s definition of a Green Library. Examples include creating and promoting shared resources or facilities (sharing economy), reducing consumption, using environmentally friendly library buildings and equipment, and demonstrating commitment to international environmental goals and programmes.

Tim Schumann (Germany) – The Berlin-Pankow Public Library Going Green The Berlin-Pankow Public Library is on its way to become a Green Library by embracing its role as an actor in an ecologically and socially sustainable future. This presentation will describe current measures of the library in terms of diversity, management, and partnerships, becoming a third place in the community, and how this relates to its goal of becoming a Green Library.

Workshop: Helena Öberg Carlsson (Sweden) – Transition Stories Beyond Dystopia and Carbon Ruins
Through storytelling and sharing experiences, we can foster a sense of belonging and collective agency for change. This workshop is based on a scientific master narrative that has been used as a spinning wheel for a dynamic process involving public libraries in Västmanland County, Lund University, artists and local stakeholders, where it has initiated a process to reveal the potential of public libraries as arenas for transition and change.

15.30 – Coffee Break

15.50 – Panel Discussion and Closing:  CLIMATE ACTION: COUNT LIBRARIES IN!
A panel of library leaders from around the world will come together to share and discuss the role of libraries as actors of climate empowerment.

16.30 – 18.00  – Self-guided Tour of LocHal and Social Gathering


Bibliotheek LocHal
Burgemeester Brokxlaan 1000
5041 SG Tilburg
The Netherlands 


The registration fee is € 45. Register hereDeadline: 11 August 2023


If you have questions, contact Per Eide ([email protected]) and Katharina Portugal ([email protected])