Awareness-raising and capacity building of librarians in Latvia on SDGs
President of the Library Association of Latvia, Chief Librarian in the Library Development Center of the National Library of Latvia
Secretary of the Library Association of Latvia, Chief Specialist in the Library Development Center of the National Library of Latvia
The Latvian library community has been talking more about SDGs since 2017, when the first two lectures-workshops on the topic were held for library directors and other leading field specialists. To encourage librarians to look more in-depth at the SDGs and help libraries to see their role in the sustainable development of their communities, the Latvian Library Report prepared by the Library Development Center of the National Library of Latvia includes a section on SDGs, that summarises and analyses the experiences of Latvian libraries in the area of SDG implementation.
In 2019, the National Library of Latvia, the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO and the Library Association of Latvia launched a seminar series “Libraries and Sustainable Development: we build this world ourselves”, which aimed to highlight the role and involvement of libraries in achieving SDGs, discuss the opportunities for libraries to improve the lives of their communities, and share stories of activities that have already been implemented. The seminar series started with an introductory seminar on 4 April 2019 at the National Library of Latvia and continued with four regional seminars to facilitate the inclusion of as many librarians as possible in the exchange of information and experiences regarding SDGs. Two regional seminars were held in 2019 and two in 2020.
The seminar series was rounded off by a major conference for Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian museum and library staff “Localising the Sustainable Development Goals through Baltic museums and libraries” which was watched online by over 1000 participants on 23–24 September 2021.The conference offered presentations by local and international sector experts and practical workshops to gain knowledge, try out useful tools and network with colleagues from the Baltics. The conference website provides useful resources (conference conclusions, a conference video, etc.)
Also in 2021, representatives of the Latvian library sector have started to participate in IFLA and European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) Special Interest Groups, which are involved with sustainable development: The Secretary of the Library Association of Latvia, and chief specialist in the Library Development Center of the National Library of Latvia Kristīne Deksne is a member of the IFLA Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section (ENSULIB) and the EBLIDA European Libraries and Sustainable Development Implementation and Assessment (ELSIA).
As a result of the seminar series project “Libraries and Sustainable Development: we build this world ourselves” a special SDG section will be created on the Latvian Library Portal, where, together with other information about SDGs, stories and examples of Latvian library SDG performance experience will be housed, as well as a summary in English of the experience of Latvian libraries in the field of SDGs.