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The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations is an independent umbrella association of library, information, documentation and archive associations and institutions in Europe.

Agenda 2030 for sustainable development


Second European Report on Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries

Full Report

Prepared by the EBLIDA Secretariat in collaboration with the National Library of Latvia

[ PDF ]

We are very pleased to inform you that EBLIDA, in collaboration with the National Library of Latvia, has just published the Second European Report on Sustainable Development and Libraries”, including a Synthesis of the results of a questionnaire sent out in Autumn 2021 and a series of seventeen country profiles. Each of these profiles includes a general background, SDG national priorities and policies, a selection of SDG-oriented projects and some hints about funding sources and evaluation.

Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - Second European Report (Full Version)

EBLIDA does not wish to limit its work to storytelling alone; the Report explores best practices, simulations, and practical know-how. Country profiles are a model for EBLIDA members not included in this report and for any library willing to pursue sustainable development goals in libraries.

“The Synthesis shows very clearly how libraries perceive SDGs and how libraries are perceived in the society. Each country profile is a sort of Library Manifesto on sustainable development at national or local level”, maintains Ton van Vlimmeren, President EBLIDA.

The 2nd report is another step undertaken by EBLIDA in its European, project-oriented and fundraising approach. “All library organisations are now setting SDGs as a priority in their current work plans and we are extremely happy to support the EBLIDA approach, which is valid both for small and big libraries, whether they are public, university, school or national”, adds Katrina Kukaine, Director, Development Department, National Library of Latvia.

Since 2019, EBLIDA has taken a practical approach to implementing SDGs in libraries, with the creation of tools such as the EBLIDA Matrix and the SDG-KIC. These illustrate how libraries should approach SDGs in a European context. “We record stories having received the Sello award in Spain, libraries included in Bulgarian and German cultural routes, waste disposal activities in Danish libraries and other small, but popular projects which have received funding from local, national or European institutions.”, adds Giuseppe Vitiello, EBLIDA Director.

The EBLIDA Second European Report on Sustainable Development and Libraries is a companion report to the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2021-2027: a Guide for library applicantsand The European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027 report.

 


Second European Report on Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries

Synthesis Report

Prepared by the EBLIDA Secretariat in collaboration with the National Library of Latvia

[ PDF ]

Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report

 

In 2020, EBLIDA released the First European Report on Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries.

One year ago, the enthusiastic response from library associations showed a quite disparate picture, from front runners fully committed to the attainment of SDGs to a minimal level of awareness. In general, the Agenda 2030 was still considered an accessory objective, not pivotal in library activities.

One year later, in 2021, an interesting shift can be noticed and the situation reported by the 2nd European Report offers a totally different scenario.

Not only is the level of awareness much higher than in the past, but a good number of library associations have convincingly embarked upon the Agenda 2030 pathway. In spite of, or perhaps because of the catastrophic impact of the pandemic and the poor SDG global record in 2021, coherent and fully-fledged policies are now being enforced. There is a clear understanding, at least at top level, that libraries can make the most out of SDG strategies.

This provides evidence of the validity of the EBLIDA approach. In 2019, six months before the European Commission re-oriented its work programme towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, EBLIDA made the proposal that SDGs implemented in libraries should not only be stories told to administrators and policy-makers for advocacy purposes, but ought to consist of a fully-fledged concept framing library work into a much broader and far-reaching scope.

This report is opening new directions for future EBLIDA strategy in the SDG field. It fulfils library commitment towards the attainment of SDGs in society, reinforces SDG-oriented policies in libraries at European scale and boosts the preparation of projects at national and international level. In this respect, it is a milestone for library work whose impact will be measured hopefully in the very near future.

The “Second European Report on Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries” has been jointly drafted by EBLIDA and the National Library of Latvia. This synthesis will be presented during the EBLIDA-Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe Webinar on 23rd November.

A longer version, also including Country profiles, will be presented on 24th February 2022 in the course of a meeting organised by the French Presidency of the European Union. Further by-products are expected to be released in the near future.


Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report

[ PDF ]

The first attempt to map SDG projects in European libraries not only as stories to be told to administrators and policy-makers for advocacy purposes, but also as a fully-fledged concept apt to frame library work into the broader and far-reaching scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report

A new agenda is desperately needed for two reasons:

a) historically, because the traditional library sphere (free of charge services based on books and other media) has been challenged in the last two decades by private information service providers, and

b) because we are entering a post-Covid 19 age where many of the traditional assumptions in the world of libraries will be re-questioned or reshuffled.

There are two main advantages for linking libraries to the European 2030 agenda:

The first is political: libraries are much more than the content they store in their precincts and on their servers; the concept of the “social” library can thrive in this broader political architecture and develop in the specific policies assigned to each Goal.

The second advantage is economic: a new battery of indicators is needed to measure how good libraries are for the society as a whole”, says Mr Ton van Vlimmeren, President EBLIDA.

This First Report covers projects and policies in seventeen countries. “Rarely in the past has an UN or EU programme encompassing such complex social, economic and environmental issues been so spontaneously and enthusiastically received in libraries. What strikes in the implementation of SDGs in European libraries is not only the quantity, but also the quality and the variety of policies and programmes. EBLIDA will find ways on how these projects can be funded through European money,” adds Giuseppe Vitiello, Director EBLIDA.


Towards the implementation of SDG Indicators in European Libraries

[ PDF ]

ELSA (European Libraries and Sustainable Assessment) Working Group - Towards the implementation of SDG Indicators in European LibrariesAssessing the implementation of SDGs in libraries is not an easy task. On the one hand, libraries need figures in order to show that their commitment to sustainable development is not a nice story to be told, but a sound policy to be pursued.

On the other hand, they also need to adapt their traditional statistics and indicators to the new Agenda 2030 framework. EBLIDA created the ELSA (European Libraries and Sustainable development Assessment) Working Group in October 2019 with a view to addressing the issue of SDG evaluation in libraries.

Towards the implementation of SDG Indicators in European Libraries is the report elaborated by the ELSA Working Group.

“Within the broad framework of the 2030 Agenda library policies need to link with indicators of a different nature”, says Ton van Vlimmeren, EBLIDA President. While emphasising the usefulness of library impact studies both for library evaluation and advocacy, ELSA Group Members stressed the importance of an SDG-centered methodology with a few practical examples in several European countries.

“It is time to shift from small, locally based projects having a demonstrative nature to library policies where project evaluation has a fundamental role if libraries wish to have access to European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027”, adds Giuseppe Vitiello, Director, EBLIDA.


Please send your comments to:

Giuseppe Vitiello, EBLIDA Director
Email: g.vitiello@eblida.org

Second-European-Report-on-SDGs-in-Libraries_Synthesis.pdf


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