Think global, act local

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda is a framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals which span economic, environmental and social development.

Several of the goals align perfectly with the work that many libraries are already undertaking, including ‘Access to information’ under Goal 16. As many libraries are community spaces, providing access to services, information and resources which supports education and access to information.

While the SDGs are universal goals, each country is responsible for developing and implementing national strategies to achieve them and will be expected to track and report progress. As these national plans are developed, libraries are in a unique position to create initiatives which promote the SDGs and foster change in their communities.

Since 2017, ALIA has worked with Federal and Local Government, GLAMR institutions, library leaders, and relevant organisations to promote and further these goals.

ALIA has also signed an international advocacy agreement with IFLA, which commits the Association carry on advocacy work on how libraries are helping Australia, and the rest of the UN Member States, achieve the SDGs.

You can see what ALIA has done for the Sustainable Development Goals from 2017-2019. 


Reports and submissions

ALIA has submitted responses to reports on the SDGs including the Senate Report on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, released in February 2019, which referenced ALIA’s submission.

ALIA has also produced several resources and reports.

These resources include the following:

You can also access the UN's free SDGs resources and you can see the Open Working Group on the goals

ALIA also supported a team from Victorian public libraries with their project Share your stories with the world. The report showcases examples of how public libraries around Victoria are delivering programs that connect with the SDGs.  

In July, libraries were mentioned several times in the first Australian National Voluntary Review,  and reference was made to the inclusion of the SDGs in ALIA's Constitution. The review was delivered at the UN’s 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, which took place in New York from 9-18 July.

In May,  ALIA Members approved an addition to the Constitution at the Annual General Meeting.

Additionally, Australia was featured in the international update for libraries and the Association released the report which related to Goal 5 Target B: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.

In February, IFLA published the first report of the International Advocacy Programme, which featured ALIA activities in Australia.


Current activities

In 2020, ALIA is undertaking a series of activities to support the Sustainable Development Goals

July 2020

GLAM Peak, of which ALIA is a founder member, met on 28 July to discuss the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From this meeting it produced a report, on how GLAMR industries can support the SDGs.

June 2020

On 9 June 2020 former ALIA President, Vicki McDonald FALIA spoke as part of the free webinar Libraries Contributing to Meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Vicki gave a clear overview of how Australian libraries, and ALIA, have been working on the Sustainable Development Goals. 


Pictured: ALIA events, and ALIA representatives at SDGs events. 


This page is accurate as of 9 October 2020 and will be updated as needed.