9 May 2018

Libraries and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: How can Russian libraries further development?

IAP Workshop in Russia: "Libraries and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: How can Russian libraries further development of the society?"

The Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow (LIBFL) hosted a workshop on 19-20 April 2018: "Libraries and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: How can Russian libraries further development?", within the framework of the Second Annual Foresight Session entitled: "Shaping up the Future of Libraries."

The event was organised by Russian Library Association’s International Cooperation Section and the LIBFL Rudomino Academy with the financial support of IFLA's International Advocacy Programme (IAP). This was the first of two workshops to promote the important role libraries can play in development by contributing to the UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second workshop will be held at Tomsk State University Library from 19-20 June 2018.

The objectives of these workshops are to:

  • launch a nationwide campaign to raise the level of awareness on the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, as well as the necessity to secure public access to information in the achievement of the SDGs;
  • highlight the key role of libraries in achieving the UN SDGs all over the world;
  • identify the key success factors which will enable effective implementation of advocacy initiatives by the Russian library community;
  • give workshop participants the knowledge and skills to align libraries, especially public libraries, with development outcomes in their country or region;
  • increase the capacity of library sector and library associations to leverage opportunities for advocacy activities at the community, national and regional levels.

Building Russian librarians' capacity to advocate and engage in the UN 2030 Agenda

The workshop in Moscow was led by Kaspars Ruklis, an international advocacy communication trainer and professor at the University of Latvia (Riga). Ruklis has worked with library projects in Latvia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Ethiopia.

The workshop participants – library professionals from Moscow and the Russian regions – gained a clear understanding of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals as well as an insight into the five main SDGs aspects – five Ps:

  • People: the wellbeing of all people (Goals 1-5)
  • Planet:  protection of the Earth’s ecosystems (Goals 12-15)
  • Prosperity: continued economic & technological growth (Goals 1-4, 7-11)
  • Peace: securing peace (Goal 16)
  • Partnerships: improving international cooperation (Goal 17)

The discussion focused on various examples of how libraries can assist in turning these goals into reality and be recognised as key partners for their governments. During a brainstorming session, participants drafted and presented their own advocacy plans of how libraries can contribute to progress towards the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Participants were awarded certificates of attendance upon completion of the two-day workshop. They were also encouraged to take an active part in sharing their libraries’ success stories via the IFLA Library Map of the World, which features success stories from all over the world to show how libraries are contributing to the UN SDGs.

Personal observation from Daria A. Belyakova, Deputy Director, LFL Rudomino Academy:

The workshop helped me obtain quite a few practical skills. I enjoyed its format. For two days we were immersed in a creative environment: we exchanged our views, played games and had fun. Of particular interest and challenge was a role play exercise to make one’s message heard in a mini-presentation (“Making an elevator pitch”). This presentation had to be very concise and compelling enough to be noticed by a person of influence or a decision-maker upon whom you supposedly happen in the lift for a mere three minutes."

Personal observation from Yelena I. Zimina, Chief Librarian, International Contacts Department, Russian State Library:

The workshop proved a success – intensive, interesting and thought-provoking."

Other participants also gave positive feedback pointing to the workshop’s cheerful atmosphere and the trainer’s truly engaging facilitation. The workshop was praised for its interactivity and abundance of new and helpful information, as well as for the handouts which were found useful by participants.

LDP (Library Development Programme), Advocacy, Capacity building, Libraries for development, Russian Federation, International Advocacy Programme, IAP, UN SGDs, UN 2030 Agenda

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