Green Libraries Lab connects engaged local actors  

Arts and Creative Industries

This year, the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg and the French Institute of South Africa are developing the Green Libraries: “Renewing the Future” project to promote sustainable local library initiatives.

This project is aimed at South African libraries wishing to explore what “sustainability” in the sense of the Sustainable Development Goals might mean for them, and how they can develop strategies and tools to promote it in their work and organization, as well as in their contact with communities.

The “Green Libraries” program consisted of a call for projects aimed at South African libraries. The selected winners received a grant and undertook to develop their project between June and October 2023. It began with the Green Libraries Lab.

Read more about the selection criteria and winning projects here

The 6 Laureates took part in a Green Libraries Lab in Johannesburg from June 12 to 14, 2023, with a program of masterclasses, workshops, visits and networking that focused on achieving the SDGs, project management, and capacity building. The Lab took place in three different locations (IFAS’ Dibuka Library, the Goethe Institut and the “of things we forget to remember” bookshop).

The experts taking part in the Lab were:

– Damilare Oyedele & Tim Schumann (German) speaking on Green Libraries: what does sustainability look like?

– Ilze Wessels (South African) on Sustainable design: repurposing/renovating existing spaces for efficient use

– Philip Koepsell (German) on Archival practices & collective memory: preserving knowledge & making it accessible

– Molemo Moiloa (South African) on Funding procurement

– Nola Normand & Maryon le Nagard & Fanny Valembois (French) on Sustainable Libraries: governance & accessibility

– Chule Goboda (South African) on Marketing & communication

– Bobby Shabangu (South African) on Writing ourselves into history

The Green Lab was a success, as participants developed a strong sense of unity and a desire to stay in touch. They really appreciated the quality of the program and the content of the presentations. Collaborative work during the workshops enabled them to create networks, think together about sources of funding and exchange ideas on potential practices to be put in place.

Following this “Green Lab”, the winners are now required to implement their projects from June 15 to October 12, 2023.

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