Libraries as Actors of Climate Empowerment: Satellite meeting prior to WLIC 2023

For decades, it has been self-evident for library professionals that libraries act in sustainable ways, promote the circular and shared economy and nurture environmental goals. Some discussions have even raised questions about why there is a need for even more efforts? Are there actually any further issues libraries should be doing in this context?

As climate awareness has risen, it has become more and more obvious that libraries are not an area that should be left out of this discussion. The carbon footprint of library operations must be considered as part of efforts working towards net zero.

However, the opportunity for advocating for sustainability in libraries is increasing. Libraries are increasingly promoting the UN sustainable development goals and helping to increase e.g. the climate awareness. This has not only made it easier for library professionals to begin to offer curated climate-related collections, events, and operations for customers, but also support the dialogue between libraries and wider organisations.

We know that sustainability is not solely about climate. By increasing the awareness of climate issues of communities surrounding libraries, we can also make room for other sustainability goals, such as gender equality, good health and well-being, peace, justice and strong institutions.

The joint effort of IFLA Public Libraries Section and Environment and Sustainability in Libraries Section bring together experiences, ideas and questions that have impacted both the communities and the professionals in the field. The focus will be on “Libraries as Actors of Climate Empowerment”.

It is both a duty and privilege for libraries to empower members of society to be engaged in climate action and sustainability. Libraries are strongly connected to surrounding communities and they have the capability to reach out to people of all ages.

The one-day conference will certainly raise interactions between participants, as they share ideas and plans. I am very sure, that the multifaceted conference will inspire everyone involved.


The WLIC 2023 satellite meeting will take place in LocHal Library, Tilburg Netherlands in Aug 19th.



Mr. Juha Manninen

Director, Finnish Library Association

Member of IFLA Public Library Section