Germany has a long tradition of “Green Libraries“ which dates back in the 1970s with their first attempts to link Library architecture to collections. The Union of German Library Associations created a focus on UN SDGs and drafted in 2016 a Position Paper where, Goal after Goal, possible orientations for projects are identified (https://www.bibliotheksverband.de/fileadmin/user_upload/DBV/positionen/2016_07_31_Stellungnahme_Nachhaltigkeit_endg.pdf)
The city of Berlin supported an ERDF library project: BIST (Bibliotheken im Stadtteil, “Libraries in the City area"). BIST I benefited from an ambitious ERDF investment equal to €6.67m (combined with Land support worth €13.17m) having the following objectives:
- improvement and adaptation of the social infrastructure (construction or renovation and modernisation of libraries);
- social development of library services in disadvantaged neighbourhoods (intercultural library work, welcome culture, family library);
- Further development of library services (active services, collection development, new services).
The BIST II programme (2014-2020) aims to improve social integration in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and to ensure opportunities for participation targeted at all population groups. The library space is offered for partnerships with schools, kindergartens, after-school care centres, neighbourhood centres, businesses and other actors in neighbourhood. There are 21 library projects running in various Berlin districts, which are supported by ERDF from 2017 to 2023 for an overall budget of € 6 m.
The German Union of library is associated in two projects implementing SDGs in libraries: “Treffpunkt Deutsch“ – a cooperative project between a library and the immigrant community, providing access to language training and educational resources, implemented at the Stadtbibliothek Heilbronn (meeting SD Gools 4 and 5) – and “Ernte Deine Stadt” (Harvest your city) – the library becomes a urban garden and library rooms are transformed into spaces for reflection and creativity about Sustainability (meeting SD Goals 4, 11, 12, 15, 17.
Within ERDF 2007-2014, two projects were funded in Oranienburg - a city of 40,000 inhabitants in the region of Brandenburg - and Waltershausen - 13,000 inhabitants, in Thuringia. In Oranienburg the region decided to restore the library with a tourist information and a Galerie after having requalified the Old Castle, the Castle Park and the Havel promenade (EFRD support was worth €3,432,750). The Stadtbibliothek Waltershausen was reconstructed in 16th century premises and ERDF support was in the order of €1,111,538.
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