Sustainable Development Goals in Libraries

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As the Orsenna-Corbin report to the French Ministry of Culture stated in 2018, libraries are not just a place for books but also living spaces. This positions them as the “third place” – a non-commercial place for to gather, exchange, discuss – a public living room in essence. And this is not new for public libraries, they have supported educational and cultural objectives for centuries. The Social Hackathons that will be carried out later this year will emphasize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  and we want to examine if these can fit into the framework for libraries.

The European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations has worked on a framework that integrates the SDGs into the work public libraries already carry out. For example, “SDG 1: No Poverty” fits at the core of the social inclusion activities happening in public libraries as they work with vulnerable groups in their community. As the Social Hackademy project focuses on digital skills, it’s important to remember that many libraries provide digital skills initiatives in line with “SDG 4: Quality Education”. Whether this is offering a basic digital skills training session, teaching digital literacy skills, or bringing digital making into the community, public libraries are doing it!

The Social Hackathons that will be carried out between June and September 2021 in Croatia, France, Greece and Italy will not be happening in public libraries just yet but we’re hopeful that this project can be stepping stones for more institutions bringing together members of society to solve tomorrow’s challenges.

Author: Tiana Zignani (Public Libraries 2030)

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