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Title: Sustainability as a Tool for Political Advocacy in Libraries
Authors: Breidlid, Jacqueline
Keywords: Subject::Sustainability
Issue Date: 9-Sep-2022
Publisher: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Series/Report no.: 87th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC);Satellite Meeting: Environment, Sustainability and Libraries (ENSULIB), Management and Marketing, Preservation and Conservation Sections
Abstract: The work of libraries is per se sustainable within the meaning of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): by providing open and accessible public spaces to everyone, by lending out books and other media, and by engaging in literacy education – to name just a few – they contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability. What is sometimes less discussed however, is that the SDGs can also be a great tool for political advocacy. The reason is the following: While the SDGs are a global joint declaration of intent, their implementation takes place at the lower political levels: at European, national/ federal, and local levels. The SDGs are therefore a theme that almost every political person will have stumbled upon at some point during his/her political career. Thus, libraries engaging with the SDGs and making it visible – through their website or social media, but also through exchanges with local politicians – show that they can talk the “language” of politics, that they play a crucial societal role and that they engage in ongoing political debate. In this paper the author will look at examples of how libraries can showcase their societal relevance through the SDGs and how they can approach politicians at every political level. It will also look at political sustainability/ education for sustainable development strategies in Germany at national, federal states (“Länderebene”) and local level and analyse to which extent libraries have been recognised as valuable partners on the political level and where this is still lacking.
Appears in Collections:World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) Materials

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