What Every Librarian In Singapore Ought To Know About Saving The World

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs

Saving the world may not be something you associate with your job responsibilities or duties (unless, of course, you’re watching this movie.) But the work you do helps people become more informed, educated and included every day.

That’s right: as experts in facilitating access to information, you already contribute to making the world a better place.

Now, as Singapore and the rest of the world focus on eradicating poverty and hunger and improving health and education by 2030, it’s time to level up and join other librarians in actively supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs). Here’s what you need to know to get started:

1. Libraries are obvious partners for implementing the SDGs

Tapping into the resources of libraries is a smart, effective, and economical way to further development. Governments can use the existing infrastructure of libraries and the expertise of librarians to meet local development needs.

2. …but governments may not know that

As known and trusted institutions that already support development, libraries can play a crucial role in the implementation of the SDGs. But that will only happen if governments become aware of the contributions libraries can make and include them in national development plans.

Librarians from 12 countries (Asia-Oceania) in an advocacy workshop held in Singapore

Librarians from 12 countries (Asia-Oceania) in an advocacy workshop held in Singapore

3. Advocacy resources and training are available

Librarians worldwide are already getting the skills and tools they need to advocate at local, national, and regional levels. Thanks to the IFLA’s International Advocacy Programme, eighty professionals, including two from Singapore, have taken a workshop on “Libraries, Development, and the Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda” and are now building advocacy teams locally.

4. Libraries should focus on local needs

Libraries can follow their governments’ lead in deciding with SDGs to tackle. In Singapore, it’s likely that clean water and sanitation (goal 6), responsible consumption and production (goal 12), climate action (goal 13), life below water (goal 14), life on land (goal 15), and partnerships for the goals (goal 17) will be prioritized.

5. Singapore needs library advocates like YOU!

In Singapore, librarians will be getting together on March 30 (at 3 pm, venue TBA), to brainstorm ideas and build an advocacy team. Jami So and Edward Lim, representing Library Association of Singapore, will facilitate the discussion. Stay tuned for updates!

The moment for libraries to make a difference in the world is now. Be a part of this movement!