Steppingstones to More Sustainable Public Libraries in Finland

How to Cite

Pötsönen , U., Sonkkanen, L., & Sahavirta, H. (2020). Steppingstones to More Sustainable Public Libraries in Finland: From Individual Initiatives toward National Guidelines and Standards. International Journal of Librarianship, 5(2), 78–83.
Received 2020-11-07
Published 2020-12-16


Public libraries in Finland have a strong history of cooperating and networking. Implementing SDGs and steering the action toward sustainability, however, has been so far carried out mainly out by individual libraries. A larger consensus or common guidelines are still missing, be it designing a new building, customer design thinking or rearranging internal workflows.

          This is to be changed, hopefully serving as an example to readers´ communities. The report presented current cases and current best practices on initiatives and concentrated on finding a broader common ground on sustainability work. Helsinki City Library will act as a nationwide accelerator and common voice promoting the step marks toward greener libraries. A nationwide expert network and community of practice is to be established as well. As one example of the development, the tight cooperation between public libraries and basic education in Finnish society will be discussed. For historical reasons public libraries operate to a large extent as school libraries, so the task of supporting curriculum on sustainability topics is a major task for public libraries as well. What does the future of this collaboration and its possibilities look like?


Finnish Library Act: FinLex (2016). Retrieed from

Finnish Public Library Project Register: Ministry for Education and Culture and Council for

Public Libraries. Retrieved from

Green@Library project: Helsinki City Library (2012). Retrieved from

Sustainable Library 2030 -road map. Oulu City Library 2020. Retrieved from

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Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Librarianship


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