Sustainability covers three key areas; environmental, social and financial. To be sustainable is to meet the needs of today's society in a way that doesn't harm the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The consumption of finite resources and sustainable development are key concerns of society and therefore of libraries. The Sustainable Libraries Group will focus on the key areas of sustainability as applicable to the operation of libraries.
The aims of the ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group are to:
- Inform and educate our colleagues and also support and promote best practice.
- Support and promote research and professional development.
- Increase the awareness of environmental concerns amongst library staff.
- Enhance and promote documentary resources and library services connected to sustainability (development of collections on environmental themes, exhibitions, outreach, etc.).
- Consider the effects of climate change on libraries (modification of the conditions of storage and preservation, building insulation, impacts on library finances and management).
- Share information and ideas about the application of environment-friendly practices in libraries, or transferable to libraries (recovery of rain water, power supply from renewable energies, control of printings, resource recovery).
- Sustainable collection development, including sourcing materials from Australian publishers and subscribing to digital collections such as ebooks.
- The proposal of environmental recommendations to the profession, including retro fitting existing libraries.
- Foster co-operation, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and ideas relating to sustainable practices amongst library staff from libraries across the country.