In a survey out now, OCLC is exploring how libraries are working with the SDGs. IFLA interviewed Evi Tramantza, Chair of the OCLC Global Council Program Committee, to find out more.

With growing understanding of the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as both a framework for advocacy, and a tool that can be applied in library planning, there is more and more evidence on how to do this most effectively.

To gather this, OCLC’s Global Council has chosen to focus on the SDGs this year, and is running both a survey to gather information about practice, and a series of webinars.

We interviewed Evi Tramanza, Chair of the OCLC Global Council Program Committee, to hear more.


Evi Tramantza, Chair of the OCLC Global Council Program CommitteeCan you let us know a little more about yourself?

Hello! My name is Evi Tramantza, and I’m the Director of Libraries and Archives at Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece. I also serve as Chair of the Program Committee for OCLC’s Global Council and as a delegate for the Global Council’s EMEA region. I’m excited to discuss the work OCLC Global Council is doing in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with IFLA and colleagues around the world.

How did Global Council come to work with the SDGs?

Every year OCLC Global Council selects an area of focus that is important to libraries worldwide. This year we chose to focus our work on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We’re pleased that we can take this work in new directions, and also support activities that are aligned with IFLA’s existing work with the SDGs.

OCLC Global Council is comprised of library leaders from all over the world who recognize the importance and value of the SDGs to the communities we serve. We understand how crucial libraries are to accomplishing these goals. We want to do our part as a unique, global library organization to raise awareness, adoption and support of the SDGs.

For you, what difference can working with the SDGs make at the level of individual libraries and library systems?

The 17 SDGs address global issues such as poverty, inequality, and peace and justice. They provide our libraries an actionable framework to help improve the communities we serve. Many libraries are already engaged in work that supports the SDGs such as providing programs and services to address social justice or provide quality education to underrepresented groups. By starting with our individual libraries, we can build stronger community partnerships that can lead to real change.

What activities do you have planned around this, and what have you learnt already?

OCLC Global Council currently has two main activities supporting the SDGs. First, we are partnering with OCLC Research to conduct a global library survey on the SDGs, with a focus on the five goals that we feel libraries can impact the most:

  • SDG 4: Quality education
  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
  • SDG 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

The purpose of the survey is to understand better how libraries around the world are working to use and support the SDGs. The survey is open now through 31 January 2021 so that all library types and sizes can participate. I’d like to invite all IFLA colleagues to take the survey and share your perspectives on the SDGs using the link below, and of course to encourage your own colleagues to respond and pass on their perspectives.  A published report of findings will be made available in June 2021.

SURVEY:  Global Libraries and SDGs
Deadline: 31 January 2021

OCLC Global Council is also hosting a series of online webinars, Sustainable development and libraries: Global goals, collective action, focused on how libraries around the world are thinking about or using the SDGs to inform their libraries strategic plans. The series consists of five thought-leadership conversations, with the next one taking place on 9 February 2021.

Through these activities, we are learning how much libraries can do to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While we may be separated by geography or culture, we know that we share challenges, ideas, energy and solutions. When we work together using tools like the SDGs, we can go further to making shared progress together.

What impact do you hope that it will have within libraries? Do you anticipate any advocacy dividends from this work?

I hope that more libraries see the value of incorporating the SDGs into their strategic plans and the rewards that come from working together to advocate for global sustainability.  Increased participation from libraries at local, regional and national levels will help raise awareness of the SDGs and lead to real change for our communities.

Every individual library worker and each library can participate. I hope you will join us in supporting the SDGs in your libraries and lend your thoughts and expertise to this important work.


About the interviewee

Evi Tramantza is the Director of Libraries and Archives at Anatolia College, Thessaloniki, Greece and serves as the Program Committee Chair for OCLC’s Global Council.  

As the Director of Libraries, she is responsible for the oversight of the Elementary Library, the Eleftheriades Library (High School and IB) and also Bissell Library (American College of Thessaloniki) as well as the Historical Archives of Anatolia.

She holds an MSc Econ in Information and Library Studies from the University of Wales and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a teaching qualification (TEFL). She is a Chartered librarian (MCLIP, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, CILIP, UK) and a member and mentor of CILIP.

Evi has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Information Literacy and is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the AMICAL Consortium. She is currently pursuing a PhD with the University of Sheffield in Information literacy perceptions and needs.

Her work in Education spans the last 30 years, with a long career in teaching and a strong interest in learning.