Title

Fecundity of the field of environmental education for library impact in the current decade of transformation

Submission Type

Paper Abstract Submission

Symposium Selection

Post-neutrality librarianship

Keywords

Green librarianship, Environmental education, Cross-sector collaboration, Libraries and communities, Critical librarianship, Collective impact systemic change

Abstract

What can be the role of library institutions in this unprecedented context? A growing body of literature on green libraries calls for action but struggles to fully clarify the specific role of libraries and, above all, to indicate what to focus on. This article proposes a simple way to regain confidence in our power to act and increase our ability to make - and measure - an impact: start with the library mandates identified in the literature and recognize ourselves as part of a larger body of actors - individuals, organizations or other institutions - working in environmental education (EE). EE is a multi-dimensional field of research, training and action that aims to transform the way we think and act in our relationships with our environment and, most importantly, with each other. Over the past thirty years, this discipline has developed a set of conceptual tools that are successfully used in formal, non-formal and informal education. The EE community and the many types of partners it brings together are largely unaware of the library community today. Yet mutual recognition would be very fruitful. It would allow, among other things, to better perceive the requirements of the different modalities of the notional network of education and to take note that EE must absolutely be anchored in the local to claim any effectiveness. It would also allow us to better position ourselves in relation to the sustainable development movement. This contribution provides an initial characterization of the mandates of libraries from the point of view of EE with concrete examples of successful actions. It shows the real power of libraries, which is even more powerful if all these mandates are mobilized around the same cause, such as the reduction of GHGs through greater digital sobriety, for example. It also allows us to attempt to identify the unique strengths of libraries within the EE that should be exploited in priority. To better understand one's power to act and to know how to explain it in simple words to a third party is to awaken one's courage and creativity and to give oneself the chance to be better understood by other actors. It is also, and above all, to begin to adopt the reflexive position that allows one to tackle systemic problems of this magnitude with greater success. In a crisis, it is indeed more necessary than ever to slow down to become more aware of the "soup" in which we are immersed and, especially, of ourselves in this "soup". Our power over the system lies above all in the power we can have over ourselves. By adopting this posture, new perspectives emerge, such as a greater awareness of the unique character of each team and each facility, and the interest of a potential renewed synergy on the scale of a territory of life. An initial identification of the obstacles to embracing this posture leads to a broader reflection on our capacity to transform ourselves as an institution and as a society.

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Fecundity of the field of environmental education for library impact in the current decade of transformation

What can be the role of library institutions in this unprecedented context? A growing body of literature on green libraries calls for action but struggles to fully clarify the specific role of libraries and, above all, to indicate what to focus on. This article proposes a simple way to regain confidence in our power to act and increase our ability to make - and measure - an impact: start with the library mandates identified in the literature and recognize ourselves as part of a larger body of actors - individuals, organizations or other institutions - working in environmental education (EE). EE is a multi-dimensional field of research, training and action that aims to transform the way we think and act in our relationships with our environment and, most importantly, with each other. Over the past thirty years, this discipline has developed a set of conceptual tools that are successfully used in formal, non-formal and informal education. The EE community and the many types of partners it brings together are largely unaware of the library community today. Yet mutual recognition would be very fruitful. It would allow, among other things, to better perceive the requirements of the different modalities of the notional network of education and to take note that EE must absolutely be anchored in the local to claim any effectiveness. It would also allow us to better position ourselves in relation to the sustainable development movement. This contribution provides an initial characterization of the mandates of libraries from the point of view of EE with concrete examples of successful actions. It shows the real power of libraries, which is even more powerful if all these mandates are mobilized around the same cause, such as the reduction of GHGs through greater digital sobriety, for example. It also allows us to attempt to identify the unique strengths of libraries within the EE that should be exploited in priority. To better understand one's power to act and to know how to explain it in simple words to a third party is to awaken one's courage and creativity and to give oneself the chance to be better understood by other actors. It is also, and above all, to begin to adopt the reflexive position that allows one to tackle systemic problems of this magnitude with greater success. In a crisis, it is indeed more necessary than ever to slow down to become more aware of the "soup" in which we are immersed and, especially, of ourselves in this "soup". Our power over the system lies above all in the power we can have over ourselves. By adopting this posture, new perspectives emerge, such as a greater awareness of the unique character of each team and each facility, and the interest of a potential renewed synergy on the scale of a territory of life. An initial identification of the obstacles to embracing this posture leads to a broader reflection on our capacity to transform ourselves as an institution and as a society.