The UNs Sustainable Development Goals played the leading role in my keynote about trends, goals and innovations that influence our world and, therefore, our communities and libraries.
The global goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. While the 17 global goals are made simple, they are not always easy to understand. Libraries are essential in making the goals understandable for the public and facilitating partnerships in and with the community to actively support projects that have a tangible impact on the SDGs.
To give the global goals the focus they deserve, they should be part of your existing library strategy.
As an example of a national public library strategy that includes the SDGs, go to the all-new Scottish library strategy: Forward.
Part of my keynote was an example of a strategy process I did about the library as a strategically important learning institution in the community and how that informed decisions like building a FabLab with a sharp library focus on the services it delivered to the public.
By doing all of the above, libraries enable communities to make smarter decisions.
To be relevant for our communities, we need to listen to all parts of the community – also the people who are not like us. We must listen actively to the people who do not visit us often or never visit us at all. That means we must get out and have honest conversations with people in the community.
When we still struggle with COVID (though times are getting better in many countries now), we must not forget that it has been a rough time for all of us – the people who visit our libraries. Compassion and sincere interest in how people are doing is a highly valued skill these days.
In the group, we discussed what we wanted to bring into the new post-COVID normal and what we wanted to leave behind in the old world.
You can see all of the trends mentioned in my slides, and here is the “worknotes” from our workshop.
I promised the group to share a few links about the theme “Biased tech”. So here are the once I mentioned from New York Times:
The Week in Tech: Algorithmic Bias Is Bad. Uncovering It Is Good. [New York Times 15. November 2019]
Exposing the Bias Embedded in Tech. [New York Times 17. June 2019]
I want to thank the National Library of Estonia for inviting me and all the participants for their contributions and kindness: Thank you for learning with me. – Please stay in touch.