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.
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.