Libraries are well represented at this year’s UN High-Level Political Forum! With librarians from four different contents, including six countries which are currently undertaking Voluntary National Reviews, we’re in a great position to share experience from the ground, as well as the values that shape our field as a whole. 

In order to get to know the team, we’re happy to publish the second part of three of our series where we find out about the team’s work around the SDGs – this article collects their answers to the question: how have you engaged around the SDGs so far? See also our article with their insights on how libraries help achieve the Goals!

Alejandro Santa (Coordinating Director, Library of the National Congress, Argentina)

The Library committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and since 2018 articulated actions with the National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies of Argentina. The Library incorporated strategic indicators into its quality management system to plan and measure compliance with the SDG. It promotes knowledge and interest in the 2030 Agenda with courses, training sessions and conferences. It promotes literacy skills through planned activities. It has spaces for inclusion. It has vast access to information due to the large collection of documents. It preserves and provides access to the world’s culture and heritage.

Matseliso Moshoeshoe-Chadzingwa (University Librarian, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho)

Very often, I have used the Lesotho Library Association/IFLA’s SDGs banner for teaching and advocacy purposes. Collectively as employees of the National University of Lesotho, we have planted and nurtured on campus, the UNDP-donated trees representing the SDGs. In June I pushed library issues on the agenda of the Lesotho 2022 Voluntary National Review.

Ayanda Lebele (Director of Library Services, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Botswana)

The national association has held workshops for the engagement of libraries in SDG’s. My library also had a visiting Fulbright scholar who held a day’s workshop. Furthermore, the library has served in institutional research groups on different aspects of the SDGs, and is working with external partners on adoption of open science initiatives including Transformative Agreement for equitable access to quality research information. Libraries are also teaching Information literacy skills and competencies and provision of  Inclusive and equitable reading spaces, and my own institution serves as a support system and mentor of other smaller libraries and helps in facilitating  book donations to school, setting up school libraries to support learning and literacy.

Mara Jekabsone (President, Latvian Library Association, Latvia)

I’m an initiator of this topic in the field of libraries in our country at national level. I managed to inspire and engage colleagues to start activities related to SDGs&libraries at national level, to organise these activities in the form of cooperation: seminars, conferences, discussions, networking, gathering and sharing of information and stories, promoting the awareness and understanding of librarians in SDGs matters.

Odean Cole-Phoenix (Technical Information Manager, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Jamaica)

Jamaican librarians have been encouraged to be Cybrarians to meet the Jamaican people’s needs.  Several workshops and seminars were held to equip information managers to elevate service delivery across all types of libraries. The introduction of virtual library services, managing and processing of grey literature, as well as training in Knowledge Management, helps to increase access to information and research from anywhere.

Premila Gamage (Information Professional, Sri Lanka)

We, Sri Lankan libraries, have established a partnership with the local SDG council and other authorities, the corporate sector (i.e. telecom companies) as well as international organisations (i.e. Commonwealth of Learning) through this, we have contributed towards a number of goals, including 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 17.

Loida Garcia Febo (International Library Consultant, United States of America)

I’ve been advocating on behalf of IFLA at the UN since 2014, which resulted on inclusion of access to information in Target 16.10 – this has been a really important step both in ensuring that governments recognise how crucial our work is, and that libraries can see how they fit in! I’ve also worked over many years to raise awareness of the SDGs and why we should engage, both within the US as Chair of the American Library Association UN 2030 SDGs Task Force, and through the work I do with colleagues and friends around the world.

Julius Jefferson Jr (Section Manager, Library of Congress, United States of America)

I created an ALA task force on SDGs with the charge of developing and delivering a multi-year strategic plan to increase participation of US libraries in the drive to achieve and make their communities aware of the SDGs.