Sustainability is libraries' business

As institutions with a societal mission, it is natural for libraries to seek to address the major societal challenges of today – and there are fewer greater than sustainability. With agreement of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development three years ago, this has been recognised as major political priority, and governments have committed to act. 

Libraries are well placed to contribute. As a network of at least 2.3 million institutions, they have both global reach, and the possibility to understand and respond to local needs and priorities. They also exist in very different contexts, from major national or university libraries to small public, school or mobile ones.

This article draws together examples of how libraries are using this commitment – and this potential – to deliver on sustainability in three key ways: 1) by showcasing sustainable building techniques and services; 2) by promoting understanding and action around sustainability in their communities; and 3) by supporting new research into sustainability.

Download the article in English, en Français, en Espanol, em Portugues, in Deutsch, in Arabic, in Chinese, in Farsi and in Italiano. Find out more about IFLA’s Special Interest Group on Environment, Sustainability and Libraries.