Library associations working with the SDGs
Through its work around the Sustainable Development Goals and the wider United Nations 2030 Agenda, IFLA promotes engagement not just at the global, but also at the national level. Many IFLA Members have taken up this opportunity! See below for just a few examples:
Estonian Library Association
Since 2020, the Estonian Library Association has been working to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals. The government itself has used the SDGs as a basis for the “Eesti 2035” strategy that lays down Estonia’s long-term strategic objectives and relevant policy measures.
Although libraries were part of opinion gathering prior to creating “Eesti 2035” strategy, the issue of global sustainable development goals has been poorly reflected in the context of librarianship in Estonia, which is why the Association’s Working Group on a Fresh Approach undertook a lot of preliminary work here. We saw that the best way to raise awareness was to involve a wider range of librarians in the phase of asking questions.
At its 2021 spring meeting, the Association’s Working Group on Fresh Approach decided to concentrate on libraries role’ and impact on long-term strategic objectives integrated into government level development plans. In particular:
- We mapped the activities that libraries are already doing for each sub-objective and worked with them thoroughly on Brainstorming Day in 9.06.2021 https://bibliumt.wordpress.com/2021/06/28/8-mottetalgute-kokkuvote/
- Participated in the European Sustainable Development Week (September 20-26, 2021) with the campaign for reducing screen-time before sleep https://esdw.eu/events/tund-enne-und-mobla-peost-naudi-teost/
- Ran a poll about “green“ practices in Estonian libraries in spring 2022 (results presented on Brainstorming Day 18.05.2022)
- Held a brainstorming Day in spring 2022 – focus on Green Library https://bibliumt.wordpress.com/2022/06/22/18-mail-2022-toimusid-viljandis-9-mottetalgud-kestlik-raamatukogu/
The Estonian Library Association recently upgraded its vision document “Library of the 21st Century”, as well as running a training programme called “Local Dialogue in a Local Library“. It has also run a pilot with the State Chancellery to talk about sustainability and security, celebrated the Year of Libraries, worked to empower librarians to facilitate constructive discussions in local communities – see an example of a relevant event – and run the Give a Book a New Life project! It is working towards creating a green library guide for Estonian libraries by the end of 2022.
You can also find out about the National Library’s development projects.
The Association of German Librarians supports sustainability goals through ongoing professional work, projects and the provision of infrastructure.
By publishing the O-Bib, an OA journal that is central to the library community and beyond, the association contributes to the permanent dissemination of specialist information in accordance with FAIR principles and to making it available for re-use.
In addition, the work of the commissions and regional associations ensures the generation of knowledge and the sustainable dissemination of specialist information. The Commissions for Research-Related Services and for Specialist Unit Work draw up guidelines for the sustainable use of knowledge stocks and infrastructures. The joint building commission of the dbv and VDB deals with questions of the sustainability of buildings, also in the sense of adaptability to constantly changing needs. The joint Commission on Information Competence indirectly ensures that library users find their way around modern information infrastructures and thus also contributes to social sustainability. The Commission for Professional Qualification supports colleagues and institutions in keeping library knowledge up-to-date and applicable.
For over 100 years, professional exchange has been ensured by the annual “Bibliothekartag” conferences organised together with the partner association BIB. The event makes a significant contribution to ensuring that libraries are networked and operate in accordance with agreed quality standards. The publication and archiving of the lectures anchors library knowledge across generations.
Meanwhile, the Berufsverband Information Bibliothek e.V. (BIB) is organising the third online conference #vBIB (7+8.12.2022) together with the Technische Informationsbibliothek Hannover (TIB) this year. Participation is free of charge.
This year’s motto is “digital perspectives” with a focus on change, work and sustainability, and they are working to promote discourse on “digital sustainability”. Invited keynote speakers on this topic are: Sebastian Brünger (Federal Cultural Foundation) and Sascha Ivan (Eine Welt Netz NRW, BIts & BÄume NRW).
Librarians’ Association of Malaysia (Malaysia)
The Librarians Association of Malaysia (PPM) has been active in its efforts to create awareness of SDGs through the various activities and programmes which include the following:
Engaging in the Library Map of the World, including developing a country page and contributing an SDG story. The Association acts as a mediator between the LMW team and local libraries (contributors of SDG Stories) for submission and during curation of stories There are three (3) contributors from Malaysia, that is, Librarians Association of Malaysia (Mediator for LMW); National Library of Malaysia and Sarawak State Library.
SDG Stories competition among Malaysia Academic University libraries: this gathered examples of how these institutions are achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The 26 entries, which had to relate to at least 3 SDGs, as well as Goal 17 (Partnerships) came from 17 public and private academic university libraries. The competition was held online, via Zoom and Facebook., with small prizes, and had a jury including Loy Jyoon, MLAS Secretary and PPM Past Vice President.
PPM2U Forum: SDG Stories: this event, held on 20 November 2021, was for Association members to to discuss current issues pertaining to the library profession and library association. As most of the SDGs stories submitted by Malaysia needed improvement, PPM invited IFLA HQ to discuss virtually with our librarians, alongside colleagues from Asia Oceania also joined the webinar. The result was Malaysia’s first SDG Story.
The Association also organised a webinar “Journey to SDGs Success Stories” to raise further awareness about the SDGs and their use within the national library field, as well as to encourage libraries and librarians to collaborate with local partners and stakeholders in content preparation. The forum highlighted the 2022 priorities for SDG Stories and the success of those already published. As a result, two more SDGs Stories submitted by Malaysia are now in the process of curation.
The Association has now incorporated elements of SDGs in its 5-year Strategic Plan (2019-2025).
With its campaign «Biblio2030», Bibliosuisse encourages Swiss libraries to put an important contemporary issue on their agendas and to position themselves as platforms for local discussion and implementation. Biblio2030 is an opportunity for libraries to show how their work meets the local and global challenges of today’s world. The campaign Biblio2030 promotes sustainability in Swiss libraries by mediation formats such as workshops, learning tools and publications (upcoming), networking events and curated online resources:
The Biblio2030 campaign (in German)
The Biblio2030 commission (in German)
Online resources (in German)
Online resources (in French)
Online resources (in Italian)