IFLA WLIC in Rotterdam is in sight and the sections are busy with their arrangements. However, it is necessary to focus on some recent events on sustainability.

For ENSULIB, the good news is that new institutions and associations have joined ENSULIB – the section has now 98 members, including personal members. This tells something about how much libraries and other information institutions appreciate environmental sustainability. Our own session will focus to IFLA Green Library Award 2023 and the winners for this year’s competition will be announced during the session. The competition was tight, and the quality of the submissions seems to get better year after year. It is also a joy to note that libraries are taking seriously environmental work and wish to promote the UN SDGs. The Award committee received 28 submissions of which 19 were qualified to the long list and evaluated by our international pool of reviewers. The Award was divided into two categories Best Green Library (including grand scale projects) and more modest Best Green Library projects.

The long list was quite impressive and shows that all kinds of libraries are committed to environmental work in every corner of the world. Submissions were evaluated by 20 reviewers from around the world and consists of librarians, LIS students and architects. The reviews were done in accordance with the criteria for the Award: IFLA Green Library Award 2023 Evaluation Criteria – IFLA These criteria include some general requirements but also innovativeness. Even more weight is given to physical, economic, and social sustainability without underrating the environmental aspects.

In the category Best Green Library & Grand Scale Project three libraries were qualified to the short list. These are (in alphabetic order):

  1. Colombia: Biblioteca EPM
  2. Hungary: “Illyés Gyula” Library of Tolna County
  3. Vietnam: Vietnamese-German University Library

The short list for Best Green Library Project is as follows:

  1. Canada: West Vancouver Memorial Library
  2. Italy: Biblioteca Civica Villa Valle
  3. Korea: Seoul Metropolitan Library

The winners will be announced in ENSULIB’s Open session, in IFLA WLIC 2023. However, one can learn more about the finalists on our webpage. It may be noted here that the Award submissions represent very well the recent development: libraries and sustainability stemmed from the buildings to the core of librarianship, including access to information, shared spaces and fiction – while social aspects also gained weight. In addition, libraries advocate nowadays equality and democratic values and wish to offer a forum for discussion on environmental issues. This trend is very welcome.