„Libraries Sow the Seed of a Sustainable Society“ – A Comparative Analysis of IFLA Green Library Award Projects 2016

Katharina Leyrer

Berlin School for Library and Information Science

Copyright © 2017  Katharina Leyrer This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0



The IFLA Green Library Award shows that libraries all over the world are commited to environmental sustainability: 30 libraries from five different continents submitted their Green Library project to its first round in 2016.


Based on the submissions to IFLA Green Library Award, this paper offers a summarizing overview of Green Library projects worldwide. It addresses the following questions: How are Green Library projects similar and how do they differ concerning their goals, thematic focus, implementation and visibility on the library’s website? What motivated the librarians who submitted a project to launch a Green Library initiative?


To answer these questions, three datasets have been collected and interpreted: the submissions to IFLA Green Library Award 2016, screenshots of the participating libraries’ websites and an online survey of those who submitted a project.


This analysis shows that IFLA Green Library Award projects feature a wide range of topics and forms of implementation. The most significant commonality of Green Library projects is that more than half of them cooperated with a partner to implement their project. The differences of Green Library projects primarily lie in their visibility on the library’s website, their duration and their financial and staff resources.

Presentation: pdf

curriculum vitae

2010 – 2014 Bachelor of Arts in Library and Information Science at HTWK Leipzig
2014 – 2017 Master of Arts in Library and Information Science at Humboldt Universität Berlin and ENSSIB Lyon
Master’s Thesis on Environmental Sustainability in Libraries
since 2016 Member of ENSULIB
special interests: socio-political significance of libraries, for example concerning gender, privacy and environmental issues
currently working at Erlangen Public Library