The emerging role of LIS professionals in combating adverse environmental effects

MULUMBA, Onan and NAKAZIBWE, Irene (2017) The emerging role of LIS professionals in combating adverse environmental effects. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 190 - Public Libraries , Environment, Sustainability and Libraries SIG.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


The emerging role of LIS professionals in combating adverse environmental effects

In modern librarianship there is a lot more need for practical engagement than just fostering information literacy and dissemination. The 2030 United Nations agenda emphasizes action points for environmental sustainability, which involve reduction of pollution and waste, governing the environment, boosting the renewable energy, health ecosystems, combating climate change, improving soil and water sanitation, increasing resource efficiency, and safeguarding the oceans. These actions necessitate collective responsibility from all stakeholders including; LIS professionals, policy makers, politicians, development partners and practitioners. The aim of this paper was to establish the practical and probable measures through which LIS professionals can engage in the action of environmental restoration. The study was informed by published literature on the involvement by LIS and other professionals, locally and internationally in environmental sustainability actions. An online questionnaire, with structured and open ended questions, was used to collect data from 60 LIS professionals in Africa, of whom the majority (55%) were from Uganda, 56.7% male, and 81.7% primarily working as librarians. The study revealed that LIS professionals are aware of environmental degradation activities though only 55% are aware of the global environmental strategy of the 2030 UN Agenda. Deforestation and air pollution were reported as the most commonly known activities which destroy the environment. It was established that LIS professionals and their affiliate institutions and organizations are mostly involved in the greening campaign more than any other activity. The main challenge to environmental conservation, as reported from the study, is lack of sufficient resources to support the planned activities, however, it was suggested that LIS professionals engage more in the development, implementation, and promotion of awareness campaigns for waste reduction and environmental literacy. Finally it was recommended that LIS professionals develop a strong collaboration with other stakeholders and engage in all other possible activities to enhance environmental sustainability.

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