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IFLA Green Library Award Winner Announced

The award is given to the best Green Library project that indicates the library’s commitment to environmental sustainability and helps create awareness on social responsibility and leadership of libraries in environmental education
IFLA Green Library Award Winner AnnouncedIFLA Green Library Award Winner Announced

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions announced the 3rd Green Library Award winners.

According to an announcement last week by IFLA’s Environmental Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group (ENSULIB), the winner is Foshan Library in the city of Foshan, Guangdong Province, China; while the National Library of Iran is among the five runners-up of the award, the IFLA website reported.

IFLA Green Library Award is sponsored by the independent academic publisher group De Gruyter, headquartered in Berlin, with offices in Basel, Beijing, Boston and Munich. The award is given to the best Green Library project that indicates the library’s commitment to environmental sustainability and helps create awareness on social responsibility and leadership of libraries in environmental education.

The award aims to support and promote the worldwide Green Library movement advocated by librarians, libraries and university campuses committed to greening libraries, becoming sustainable and reducing their environmental impacts

ENSULIB received 32 submissions namely from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, France, Hungary, India, Iran, Romania, Spain and the US.

A group of 17 people including library and information science students, architects and library professionals from public and academic libraries reviewed the submissions.

Foshan Library was selected as the winner of 2018 IFLA Green Library Award. One reviewer explains why. “Foshan Library is a culturally significant building in harmony with the surrounding landscape. It delivers a compelling architectural vision that pays homage to the cultural and artistic history of the region.

The library and its services are strengthened by adherence to sustainable principles in architectural design, building materials and management, as well as commitment to continuous improvement and community education. The library presents an impressive array of engaging and inspiring green programs for its community.”

  National Library and Archives of Iran

The five runners up for the award are from Iran, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Kenya. The diversity of the submissions created a mighty challenge for the reviewers. For instance, the libraries in cold climates grapple with how to warm their buildings; while those in hot regions try to cool the libraries.

Some submissions focused on children, seeking to promote literacy and environmental awareness in the next generation. Some projects were very low-cost, showing how a library can successfully create environmental awareness without big money.

According to IFLA, the National Library and Archives of Iran in Tehran has designed a Green Library Evaluation Checklist. It is something new and useful for every library.

Evaluating is important when planning and developing services and functions. The checklist is not exclusive to library buildings and can give general guidelines for other public places.

The checklist could serve libraries as a road map towards green library. Extensive research and logically cohesive methods enabled the creation of the valuable planning checklist for current and future libraries and communities. The checklist encourages evaluation, self-reflection and continuous improvement in sustainability practices and identifies areas of deficiency and pathways for improvement.

In February, Gloria Pérez-Salmerón, president of IFLA, attended a ceremony at the National Library that marked the 80th anniversary of its founding.

Pérez-Salmerón spoke of IFLA’s Global Vision, an inclusive program seeking to promote globalization through a united library field. She requested the National Library to provide more data and information to assess its contribution to the global program.

Director of the National Library, Ashraf Boroujerdi, said that the library is converting the national memory (books and documents) into digital formats so that their access can be facilitated for researchers in and outside Iran.

Dar ul-Funun, the first modern institution of higher learning, was established in Tehran in 1851. Twelve years later, a small library was annexed to the prestigious center. Later, the library became the nucleus of the National Library. As per available data, in 2009 the library had two million books, one million non-book items like photos and theses, four million magazines, 16,000 audio books and 1,000 books in Braille. It also keeps 28,000 old manuscripts of which over 26,000 are books of lithography.

IFLA Green Library Award will be presented to the representative from Foshan Library at the World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on August 27.

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