Victorian Libraries: Driving Sustainability for Library Communities

Jul 4, 2024 | community, goals, projects, sustainability

Parts of this article were first published in INCITE, ALIA, Dec 2023.

Public Libraries Victoria (PLV)  have recently created a Sustainability Portal (www.plv.org.au/sustainability-home/) . This portal is the result of many hours of collaboration between PLV staff, Sustainability SIG convenors and BSO Digital, a Melbourne based web development agency using a grant from Royal Society of Victoria. This innovative platform is a testament to the commitment Victorian libraries make to have a meaningful impact on sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals, all while fostering a culture of awareness and action among their communities. The key goal of the portal is to support the library industry and communities to increase their knowledge to become more environmentally sustainable, and to spotlight library services who make a positive impact in this area. The site features an explanation of the SDGs with reference to public libraries, an interactive map that pinpoints key sustainable initiatives and a bank of case studies to inspire new sustainable programs and partnerships.

The United Nations SDGs are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. They provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. PLV is promoting widespread awareness for library and information professionals. The Sustainability Portal breaks down all SDGs into digestible, engaging content that resonates with library users and the broader community displaying how they relate to everyday life. The portal highlights the sustainable initiatives introduced across Victoria with an interactive map. The map amplifies the innovative solutions libraries have put into practice in an answer to today’s environmental and societal challenges. The eight initiatives (community gardens, plant and produce swaps, community pantry, community lunches, energy saver kits, library of things, seed libraries, and the provision of e-waste bins) outline the impact of sustainable approaches. They provide a tangible example of how individuals, communities and libraries can contribute to a more environmentally conscious and socially responsible world.

The portal acts as a hub of sustainability education for library communities. By providing valuable information and resources, it empowers individuals and services to take action on issues that matter most to them. Whether you’re interested in poverty reduction, climate action, or any other SDG, you’ll find accessible, informative content on this platform. The website serves as a platform for local libraries to collaborate, share insights and implement projects that align with the SDGs. Victorian libraries are helping people understand how individual actions contribute to the larger global agenda.

 

Interactive map home page

To quote the International Federation of Libraries Association (IFLA) 2016, “The consideration of the role of humanity in climate change and the notion of sustainable development are core concerns of society, and consequently of libraries.” This digital platform is a vibrant testament to the power of libraries to shape a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

By: Jessica Anderson – Branch Coordinator – Goulburn Valley Libraries, Public Libraries Victoria Sustainability SIG Co-convenor JessicaA@gvlibraries.com.au

Rachel D’Arcy – Library Team Leader & Portfolio Lead – Brimbank Libraries, Public Libraries Victoria Sustainability SIG Co-convenor RachelD@brimbank.vic.gov.au

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