A new political framework is therefore needed – and this framework can be clearly identified in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015, and its European equivalent, the European 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In a broader policy architecture of the SDGs, the concept of the "social" library can flourish and develop in the specific policies assigned to each goal. Sustainable development is now the impetus for new investments in both the private and public sectors.
BIST (Libraries im Stadtteil, “Libraries in the Urban Area”) consisting of: . improvement and adaptation of social infrastructure; b) social development of library services in deprived areas; c) Further development of library services (Germany). Cyril and Methodius” National Library of Bulgaria established as a center of excellence for Bulgarian heritage, “Written Treasures of the Lower Danube” (Bulgaria-Romania) and “Cultural and Historical Destinations”. The metaphor continues with the three reports that provide a series of prototypes for a future library agenda post Covid 19, which must be adapted to the needs of the library or the (local, regional, national) library system.
Why a Europe-oriented library approach to SDGs
More than two-thirds of respondents to the EBLIDA questionnaire "Sustainable Development Goals and Their Implementation in European Libraries" expressed this view, and almost one-third believe that SDGs can be an additional activity for libraries. That said, two-thirds of respondents say that SDG-oriented projects contribute to the three SD pillars: economic, social and environmental. The next three sections will describe the content of the European library strategy to achieve SDGs.
SDG-oriented Library projects in European libraries: some examples and best practices
The concept of poverty must be rejected in relation to the relative wealth of the European continent and therefore interpreted as a multidimensional phenomenon. The alliance between public libraries and health associations is perhaps the most interesting development of SDG implementation in European libraries, especially in the context of a possible Covid-19 strategy. 8 IFLA Library Map of the World, https://librarymap.ifla.org/stories/Romania/PUBLIC-LIBRARIES-IN- ROMANIA-FACILITATE-ACCESS-TO-AGRICULTURAL-SUBSIDIES/21.
This project is a joint venture of the National Health Agency Child and Family (Child and Family), other health insurance agencies and public libraries. 10. In Italy, the success of the "Nati per Leggere" (Born to Read) initiative should also be mentioned. Part of the project is to include staff and students at SDU to work with the UN's SDGs.
The first is that libraries work in partnership with the Bulgarian Union of Small and Medium Enterprises; the second is that the project is financed by the 2014-2020 European Social Fund, one of the European Structural and Investment Funds.30. Supporting individual development and the integration of those who are socially excluded (from people below the poverty line to immigrants, from minorities to prisoners) is at the heart of the library's work. The outcome of the project served as a basis for new local, national and European legislation.
As part of the 'Plastic Troop Challenge', a substantial number of citizens collected all their plastic waste for a week.38. The municipal library in Lyon organizes a regional book prize for the environment and makes available collections related to the interpretation of the environment.41. One of the most fascinating programs implemented in European libraries is most likely the Human Library.
Model library policies in implementing the 2030 Agenda
These services are usually SDG-oriented library projects, and many of them are large-scale initiatives involving the entire library system of a country. The development of libraries was closely related to the emergence of the nation-state concept in the 19th century, when public libraries promoted primary literacy and academic libraries were formed by the nation's political and economic elites. After World War II, public libraries were recognized as agents of democratic change: "The public library is a product of modern democracy and is a practical demonstration of democracy's belief in universal education as a lifelong process" (the first UNESCO Manifesto of Public Libraries, 1949).60 In the early 1970s of the last century, this idealistic concept gave way to a more "utilitarian" one.
A new policy framework is therefore needed – and this framework is clearly identified in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and, in Europe, the EU's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From the documents that have been made available in the responses to the questionnaires on sustainable development and their implementation in European libraries, various model policies seem to emerge. The Library Association of Latvia actively cooperates with the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation (LAPAS)61 – the association of Latvian NGOs working to strengthen civil society in Latvia – and built a coherent work across sectors and structures for implementation of the SDGs in planning documents and daily activities, including evaluation and reporting on results. 62.
Sustainable development at city level is strongly emphasized in Europe, and especially in the Dutch public library system. The four major cities – Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht – have invested heavily in sustainable development in local metropolitan areas.70 The Netherlands are hubs for important European initiatives, such as "The Human Library", "Meetups", and are hubs for local initiatives such as in the case of the "Plastic Troop Challenge" in Tilburg. Culture in the Sustainable Development Goals: a Guide for local action (May 2018), https://www.uclg.org/sites/default/files/culture_in_the_sdgs.pdf.
In this and previous paragraphs, we have seen how library policies are in line with the development of the 2030 Agenda and how projects can reflect different goals, some of which are usually far removed from the core tasks of traditional libraries.
Library indicators and the 2030 Agenda
The impact should be measured on individuals - in terms of skills, competences, representations and behaviours-, on society - on social inclusion, education and lifelong learning, cultural heritage, public health and strengthening of democracy - and on the economy, on terms of return on investment (RoI) and the commercial life of a city or a region.79 It may be possible to assess other possible forms of impact – a French study lists no less than 13 indicators.80 So how can the impact is evaluated, not only in terms of outputs, but also of outputs ("the intrinsic value of the library for the user and the impact on his/her daily life"),81 especially in an SDG perspective. What can they realistically do to reduce pollution, provide more access to clean fuel and integrate renewable energy into end-use applications in buildings, transport and industry (UN SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy ). It is relatively easy to report on the number of people who have taken part in professional training in libraries and the level of their qualifications.
In its paper, prepared in collaboration with TASCHA, IFLA rightly points out that access to information is central to library strategies to achieve SDG 16.10 and beyond. It also lists the two indicators strictly related to the measurement of this specific goal: Indicator Number of verified cases of murder, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture of journalists, associated media workers, trade unionists and human rights defenders in the last twelve years. months” - and Indicator Number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, legal and/or policy guarantees for public access to information.”82 In the IFLA report they are rightly associated with two indices: 1. These two indicators are used by UNESCO (SDG -IPDC programme) to report to the UN High Level Political Forum on SDG 16.10.84 As important as these two indicators are, they cannot be used to assess the impact of access to information in European libraries.
There is no doubt that a specific objective for SDG 16.10 is the fight against fake news in political advertising and the manipulation of social media. The ability to manage fake news in libraries is usually addressed in terms of individual competencies in information literacy and implemented in user education schemes. A possible indicator to measure fair access to information and democratic participation in libraries could be the number of people who have received information writing education and accessed specific tools for detecting fake news in libraries.
Empowering sustainable development with access to information: highlights from UNESCO's 2019 monitoring and reporting of SDG indicator 16.10.2, CI-19/IPDC/1Rev.
National library systems and the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
French libraries and documentation centers started working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as early as 2016. The Témoignages section of the French libraries' Agenda 2030 website lists no less than 300-350 projects implementing the SDGs in libraries in all French regions (including outermost regions). To realize the social and economic pillars of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (created by the Millennium Development Goals), the scope of the "green library" was deemed too narrow; more attention was therefore devoted to social and economic issues.
The federal nature of the German Constitution does not allow centralized agencies to monitor the implementation of SDG-oriented library projects; libraries' involvement in SDGs runs at the city level. For example, one of the projects of the Fondation de Luxembourg was to acquire a "bibliobus" to combat illiteracy in Cambodia (meeting SDGs 4, 10 and 17). Through Library Mapping and indicators, CCB wanted to offer a solution to the uneven development of the Spanish Library system and the lack of appropriate reporting systems.
Design, plan and provide new services taking into account the perspective of the 2030 agenda, in terms of library development, collections, reference products and service organisation. As by-products of the overall strategy, in 2020 CCB launched two broad frameworks for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Spanish libraries. The second framework is to rethink the entire Spanish library system as an institutional engine designed to achieve SDG 5: Gender Equality.
To complete the Spanish policy in the 2030 Agenda one should also mention the Library Plans established by the City of Madrid and the City of Barcelona.
Conclusion: Library prototypes in the post-Covid 19 Agenda