Set the Wheels in Motion – Clarifying “green library” as a Goal for Action

SAHAVIRTA, Harri (2019) Set the Wheels in Motion – Clarifying “green library” as a Goal for Action. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 166 - IFLA & Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group (ENSULIB).

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


Set the Wheels in Motion – Clarifying “green library” as a Goal for Action

In leadership literature, it is commonly assumed a simple action model in which action follows if the goal is clear, understood and accepted. Thus, the leader has only to clarify the goal, ensure resources and remove hindrances for the action. However, there is no action without a decision to act and rational decision-making requires that the person in question have all the relevant information. Sustainability as a goal may be appreciated but it is a vague one and information on sustainability is often uncertain. The decision may be harder than expected. In addition, our actions must conform to the situation, which consist in a network of agents and competing interests and goals. In this paper, the focus is on the clarification of the goal: the concept of green library. It commonly assumed that the green libraries are green buildings, which fulfil the LEED criteria and have some sustainable routines, like recycling and sorting waste. This means that librarians as information professionals have little to do with environmental sustainability; it is architects and engineers who design green buildings. Therefore, the definition of green library should be broadened to include green librarianship and information services. The evaluation work for IFLA Green Library Award has suggested some new criteria, or point of views, which should be taken into account when considering green libraries.

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