Library, the Heart of the City: the Green Library
Ljubljana City Library, Slovenia
On Thursday, 20 May 2021, Ljubljana City Library hosted the sixth international one-day professional conference Library, the Heart of the City 2021, dedicated to green libraries.
One of the branches of Ljubljana City Library is Šentvid Library, which has been renovated in 2014. It is located in a border area of the city, almost half of which is covered in green, forest surfaces. The main motto of the renovated library is: We live in harmony with nature. Through it we charted the concept of the green library.
In 2019, Šentvid Library participated in the IFLA Green Library Award competition, awarded by the umbrella international library organization IFLA, and achieved very high placement with the presentation of its realization of the concept of a green library.
We wanted to give green library a new impetus and organized an international conference which would connect expert lectures on the subject in the whole of Slovenia but also in the wider region. Therefore we dedicated our traditional biennial professional conference – the theme of which is always different – to green libraries. The conference should have taken place in 2020, but was for obvious reasons implemented this year in a virtual environment.
We divided the programme into three sets. The first encompassed a broader framework within which a green library can successfully function. Petra Hauke, PhD from Humboldt University in Berlin presented on the ENSULIB section of the IFLA, an international social network focused on sustainable development. A Green City, or Ljubljana as the Green Capital of Europe, was presented by Nataša Jazbinšek Seršen, Head of the Department for Environmental Protection and Executive Head of the project Green Capital of Europe 2016. Matej Nikšič, PhD from the Urban Planning Institute and lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Ljubljana also presented on the city-building role of public buildings and spaces within the city.
The second set of content was left to the library profession and the developing concept of green libraries. It was presented by Zofia Mikolasek from Hungary, Ksenija Tokić, PhD and Ana Rubić from Croatia, and Ana Zdravje, M.A. from Slovenia.
The third set offered the listener a colourful palette of green visions not only in libraries but also in other public institutions, for example in schools and kindergardens. Libraries often collaborate with these institutions. These green visions were presented by dedicated and innovative experts of various professions from Slovenia and Croatia.
All lectures are published on the Ljubljana City Library web site. You are warmly welcome to listen to them. We hope that you will find new ideas, encounter inspiring practice or a solution you have been looking for. Public libraries have the power, and our spaces are frequently visited. This enables us to gently but persistently form public opinion in various ways. May our working together implement all of the 17 sustainable development goals from the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
When renovating or building new library spaces, Ljubljana City Library always refers to standards of green architectural planning and environmentally-friendly practice. Moreover, when planning new library services, Ljubljana City Library takes into account all areas of sustainable development, like environment, society, culture, and economy.