New Paradigm for Library Sustainability

The idea of “sustainability” has been invading information grounds rather frequently.
Politically conscious citizens, interested in supporting “sustainable” commerce, finance,  art and government, have begun to operate in overlapping discourses of environmentalism, socio- political literacy and education.
Literacy and education, although non-exclusively, are domains of libraries and library-like environments.
Yet, opportunities for libraries to engage with sustainability related literacy and education have yet to be adequately  explored in pedagogical, environmental or library literature. To provide an exploratory frame for situating libraries within larger discourse of sustainability discourse, this paper will review definition of sustainability and argue for the implementation of Sumner’s three-dimensional paradigm (2005)
Next, libraries specific sustainability will be examined through the lens of socio-political literacy, sustainable education and oral transfer of knowledge proposing a new paradigm for library sustainability. To engage a sustainable agenda in libraries, a socio-political literacy needs to be transformed into eco-literacy, education for  sustainability in education a sustainability, and access to oral knowledge as major disseminating tool  to be more utilized . Several case studies utilizing these concepts will be described to offer metaphors or solutions that are transferable to broad library settings.
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