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Oulu City Library’s Sustainable Library 2030 Roadmap


Oulu City Library implemented a Sustainable Library 2030 Roadmap to support libraries’ sustainability work. The roadmap is produced by Oulu City Library and it is based on the United Nation’s 2030 sustainable development goals (SDG) and the environmental goals set by the Oulu City library in 2015.

The roadmap defines the main development areas and sets detailed implementation plans for each area. The roadmap consists of four main objectives: promoting environmental awareness, reducing environmental impact, responsible construction and a sustainable library of the future, as well as two specific areas for development, resource-wise regional development and the promotion of remote practices. Central to the preparation of the roadmap was also reflecting the set goals on the goals of Agenda 2030 relevant to the library's operations. The set goals were also examined in relation to how they reflect the library's own eco-promises.

Although all 17 SDGs are relevant and applies to libraries to some level, Oulu City Library decided to take 11 SDGs, which best reflect the aims of their sustainability plan, as the basis for their roadmap. These are:

1. No poverty
3. Good health and wellbeing
4. Quality education
7. Affordable and clean energy
9. Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
10. Reduced inequalities
11. Sustainable cities and communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
16. Peace, justice, and strong institutions
17. Partnerships

The overall aim is that sustainable development will permeate through all areas of libraries’ everyday work. The current Sustainable Library 2030 Roadmap runs until the end of 2022 and the next one will be made latest in 2023.

Oulu City Library receives the IFLA Green Library Award 2021 for the Green Library Project

The IFLA Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section announced the 6th IFLA Green Library Award results on August 19th, 2021. Oulu City Library was announced the winner of the category "Green Library Project" with the project Responsible Library as Promoter of Environmental Awareness. Any type of green library or any outstanding green library project, initiative or idea was invited to apply for the IFLA Green Library Award.

In 2019–2020, the Oulu City Library implemented the Responsible Library as Promoter of Environmental Awareness project. The libraries of Ii and Kuusamo municipalities were partners of the Oulu City library in the project. The objectives of the project were:

  • promoting environmental awareness among customers and library staff
  • reducing the environmental impact of library operations
  • drawing up an action plan for sustainable development.

During the project, environmental communication for both the library users and staff was significantly increased. All available channels and means were used as means of communication, from social media updates and newsletters to trainings, events, environmental book exhibitions and reading tips.

Jouni Pääkkölä, Director of Libraries at the Oulu City Library, commented the following: “It’s brilliant that through this project, we were able to show how we do environmental work both locally and nationally in Finland. We are proud to carry the title of a Green Library and share the ideology of a Sustainable Library to other libraries.”

More information about the Green Library Award on IFLA’s website