Libraries in the Race to Zero November Dialogues
25 November 2020
IFLA is proud to be a founding member of the Climate Heritage Network – a coalition of organisations across the culture, heritage, and arts sectors working to inspire action and build resilience against climate change.
This November, the Climate Heritage Network made an important step forward in their mission with their inclusion in the Race to Zero November Dialogues Programme.
From 9-19 November, the High-Level Champions for Global Climate Action convened these online meetings to invite speakers from around the world to reflect on progress made. These Dialogues mark the original planned date of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Climate Heritage Network was invited to participate, bringing culture, heritage, and the arts into these high-level conversations for the first time.
Advocating for Libraries
On 18 November, IFLA Policy and Research Officer Claire McGuire therefore spoke on behalf of IFLA in the event: A Culture of Resilience: Mobilising Arts, Culture and Heritage to Win the Race to Zero in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She stressed that, as libraries are protectors of documentary heritage, providers of information, and hubs of communities, they are vital in building resilience and inspiring action.
Edgardo Civallero, Library Coordinator of the Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, Galápagos Islands also participated in the event: A Culture of Resilience: Mobilising Arts, Culture and Heritage to Win the Race to Zero in the Americas (North America, Latin America and the Caribbean). He echoed the point that libraries are stewards of memory and history. Knowledge is power, and as knowledge providers, libraires are critical to countering climate change.
However, Civallero also stressed that libraries are more than this – they are spaces to create community and construct new ideas.
Both speakers invited attendees to join their effort with libraries and realise that libraries are not just places where books are kept and stored. Rather, they are places of memory, information, and ideas. They are spaces to bring people together and strive for change.
Find out more about Climate Heritage Network online and follow IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability, and Libraries (ENSULIB) Section for more on libraries and sustainability.