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Striving towards an equitable, democratic and sustainable society

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

Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report

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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

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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

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