The 10-Minute International Librarian #19: Map Your Library Ecosystem

No library is an island.

It has almost always been the case that libraries rely on others for budgets, in turn providing a key service to their communities.

Increasingly, libraries can be seen as partners and platforms. By combining their strengths with others, they can be better able to respond to the needs of their users.

With so many interconnections, we can see libraries as part of an ecosystem, made up of lots of different individuals, groups or institutions, interacting with each other and their environment.

While this term originates in biology – and is particular relevant with the UN Summit on Biodiversity this week – it can also apply to libraries.

Indeed, it offers a helpful model for structuring thinking about the environment in which our institutions operate.

So for our 19th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, map your library ecosystem.

You can do this as a diagram, on your own or with colleagues. Try to identify the other people and institutions around you which can help you achieve your goals.

Of course, funders are key here. But so too are the actual and potential partners with whom you can work to provide services.

This can include not only other official institutions, but also individuals and community groups.

This map of your ecosystem can help you think both about your own plans and priorities, but also about the impact that changes may have.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! 2.3 Show the power of libraries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.