ENSULIB announces the winner of the 2nd IFLA Green Library Award 2017

Environment, Sustainability and Libraries (ENSULIB) is a special interest group under IFLA. With generous sponsorship from De Gruyter Publishing (Boston/Berlin), the group circulated a Call for Submissions for the IFLA Green Library Award for the second year in a row. To ENSULIB’s great delight, 35 submissions were received from around the world, including India, Ukraine, Serbia, China, USA, Columbia, Italy, Portugal, Kenya, Nigeria, and Iran.

The Winner

Stratbibliother
Stratbibliother Bad Oldesloe

After much deliberation, the winner was selected: the public library Stadtbibliothek Bad Oldesloe, Germany. Their project, “Ernte deine Stadt – Harvest Your City: Three Years of Green and Sustainable Library Commitment in the Stadtbibliothek Bad Oldesloe” combines urban gardening with maker-spaces and community building efforts, demonstrating that libraries are more than just book-lending-stations. Another byproduct has been the launching of the region’s first Community Supported Agriculture. The Bad Oldesloe project fulfills the goals of the Green Library award, which include, communicating the library’s commitment to environmental sustainability and creating awareness of libraries’ social responsibility and leadership in environmental education. More generally, the Award aims to support and promote the worldwide Green Library movement and encourage Green Libraries to present their activities to an international audience. Following the IFLA Statement on Libraries and Sustainable Development, the award advances the profession through illuminating the role of libraries and librarians in the advancement of sustainability standards and the promotion of specialized knowledge within professional practice.

The award will be presented at the ENSULIB Satellite Meeting in Berlin, Germany, 16 Aug 2017, and at the World Library and Information Congress in Wroclaw, Poland, Session 154, Special Presentation of Awards Session, held on Tuesday, 22 Aug 2017, 12:45–13:45, Expo Pavilion.

Five Runners Up

The five runners up for the award came from Kenya, Serbia, Ukraine, China and Hong Kong. The various polarities of the submissions created a mighty challenge for the reviewers. For instance, cool weather countries grapple with how to warm a building, while those in hot climates aim to cool their buildings. Three of the submissions (from Kenya, Serbia and Ukraine) focused on children, with libraries promoting literacy and environmental awareness to the next generation. These three projects are very low-cost, illuminating how a library can successfully create environmental awareness in children without big money. The Chinese submission focused on green library building which offers a haven in the bustling, polluted city of Guangzhou, however with governmental support. The Hong Kong submission hinged on the fact that Hong Kong is not yet committed to environmental issues and sustainability, as seen in the lack of green values in its business center. In this case, a university library takes a leading role by creating a clear environmental policy and strategy which manifest in everyday routines.

 

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Renewing a heritage library: planning the renovation and extension of the Staats- und Stadtbibliothek Augsburg (State and City Library of Augsburg), Germany

by Dorothea Sommer

Overview

The renowned Staats- und Stadtbibliothek Augsburg (State and City Library of Augsburg) is housed in a veritable nineteenth-century Palace of Books created in 1892– 1893 by the architects Fritz Steinhäußer and Martin Dülfer. Like many nineteenth century libraries, its viability in the twenty-first century was in doubt as costs of maintenance and renewal escalated and the role of the library was questioned. Successful initiatives have ensured improved prospects and a worthwhile future. Planning is underway for the renovation and extension of the building to ensure the preservation and appropriate presentation of Augsburg’s valuable collections and cultural heritage, and quality service delivery for an important region of Germany.

State and City Library of Augsburg
Front façade of the State and City Library of Augsburg at night. Picture: Eckhart Matthäus

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UK Library Buildings: An Insider’s Perspective on Activity 2011 – 2015

by Karen Latimer

Overview

James Campbell and Will Pryce in their world history of libraries comment that it is hard to reconcile talk of a crisis in library design due to spending cuts and the decline in importance of printed material with “the continued explosion in library construction in the first decade of this century and the large number of library buildings currently being built. For a construction sector in crisis it seems to be a remarkably healthy one”[1]. The Designing Libraries website records over 60 UK library projects completed in the five years from 2011 – 2015, the majority of which are refurbishments or extensions. Some were very significant enhancements of older buildings including historic buildings of major architectural importance. Trends include an increasing focus on user requirements, community awareness, energy efficiency and sustainability. While it became more difficult to secure funding for library buildings, librarians who were fleet of foot, had adjusted to meet new demands and remained at the heart of their respective communities, were able to make the case to funding authorities to provide attractive, well-designed physical spaces to deliver increasingly varied and electronic services. It is not possible in a blog to do justice to the various developments and more detail can be obtained from a chapter in British Librarianship and Information Work 2011-2015 on which this blog is based[2].

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To Flex or Not to Flex? And How to Flex?

by Denelle Wrightson

Overview

Modern libraries are asked to be many things to many people many times each day. While space needs for collections have remained static or decreased, the need for areas of varying sizes for events, programs, meetings, collaboration and creating content has exploded.

Spaces of different sizes are required to accommodate:

  • Large community meetings and events programmed for up to 300 people and held a few times each year
  • Weekly programs for 30 – 50 children or adults and special events for 100 or more
  • Alternative uses of spaces intended for events and programs when none is being held
  • Diverse user behaviour and the need for collaborative and quiet spaces
  • Speedy transformations to suit a variety of purposes

Flexible Spaces can be Greener and Less Expensive

In addition to providing for a variety of uses, flexible spaces have other advantages. They support aims of greater sustainability and are usually less costly and faster to build and maintain than spaces with solid walls. For example, a design for a meeting space that includes three separate rooms for meetings of 50, 100, or up to 300 participants would require approximately 5,000 square feet (465 square metres). A project like this would typically cost about US$250 per square foot (approx.US$2325 per square metre), or US $1,250,000 for the total project.

In contrast, one large divisible room for 300 would take 3,200 square feet (297.3 square metres) of space. Assuming the use of the highest performance and cost of movable walls to allow the room to be easily divided three ways into alternative configurations, the cost would be US$1,000,000. Reducing the size has a very positive impact by lowering the footprint required for the building and its overall cost. At the same time, the environmental impact would be less with a more efficient use of the site, lower demand for building materials and reduced energy consumption. Movable walls can be introduced into existing or new spaces.

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