Skyline University Nigeria

Green Library for Sustainable Development

Great libraries are fruits and roots of great civilizations. From times immemorial, a library is a temple of learning where light of knowledge burns brightly. These are rich springs from which knowledge flows to irrigate the wide field of education and culture. The Awareness in the field of environment sciences is becoming a global talk. People worldwide are realizing its importance .Careful handling of today’s environment would only serve as a legacy for tomorrow’s generation. The libraries have a function to impart knowledge not only to its users but it has also an important role to preserve our rich literary heritage (Aulisio, 2018). The finest efforts of library builders should be that, a library built is environment friendly place where everyone would like to go, a place with a comfort just like their homes. In order to give aesthetic appearance to library and to promote green values, building of green library building movement is in progress. The green library movement emerged in the early 1990s and it is gaining popularity in the field of library and information science profession. The library professional also trying to develop such a kind of library that will be minimize the electricity consumption, energy efficient and environment friendly. There is no need to give extra stress in mind to understand green library. Green or sustainable libraries are the structure that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource efficient manner (Anonymous, 2008). The   Online   Dictionary   of   Library   and   Information   Science   (ODLIS)   defines green/sustainable libraries as A library designed to minimize negative impact on the natural environment and maximize indoor environmental quality by means of careful site selection, use of natural  construction materials and biodegradable products, conservation of resources like water, energy, paper and responsible waste disposal recycling etc.  So we can built a new library building according to green library principles or renovate existing library building and also provide green library services and facilities and embrace environmentally supportive and sustainable practices within the library. Greening the Library for sustainable development gives information about the Green Library or Sustainable libraries initiative of the world.


Environmental factors are responsible for decay and deterioration of all kinds of library materials, whatever may be the physical constituents of a particular material. These environmental conditions can be fungus, temperature, light and darkness, humidity and moisture, water, smoke, dust, dirt, air pollution etc. Some of the environmental factors that cause deterioration under extreme conditions are
Pollution: Atmospheric contamination is a major cause of chemical degradation in paper .The impurities of air are sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, nitrogen-di-oxide, ozone, aerosols, carbon-di-oxide, carbon monoxide and other chemical compounds. Dirt, smoke, dust and solid particles such as sand and oil soot are the most common solid materials to cause damage. In order to control the pollution and greenhouse gases in environment green libraries are required. Library Associations and Institutions declared that all human beings have the fundamental right to an environment adequate for their health and well-being, acknowledged the importance of a commitment to sustainable development to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future.

During the 75th IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2009 in Milan, Italy, the newly formed IFLA Special Interest Group ENSULIB (Environmental Sustainability and Libraries), sponsored by the IFLA Preservation and Conservation Section, offered their first conference session, entitled Libraries Library buildings, whether green or not, serve a region or area, and must recognize the needs of the communities that they serve. Through the facility, of and by means of, the staff, resources, leadership, and services, a strategy should be developed for providing for the needs of the service area and the enhancement of the life of their patrons for better service delivery.


A library should have sufficient windows, glass windows and skylights which allow natural light abruptly in to it and there would be no need of any light generated from Electricity during day time. Also using of low energy consuming bulbs and lights in nonbreeding areas during night time indirectly help library financially and save electricity as a whole


Today air is a most important factor. Air for breath should be pure and breathable. A proper plantation is needed in the surrounding campus which provides clean and pure air and make library cool (plain area library).Also trees gives pleasant air and it control air conditioner operation during summer. In hilly area cases building should be in a sunny place so that it will become little warmer and reduces room heater and blower expenses. The more air ventilator planned the more it reduces the electricity consumption.


Electricity can be generated using direct sun light by planting solar system on the roof top of library building. Also the surplus energy can be conserved and helps during summer when library need extra energy consumption because of the use of air conditioner, fan and cooler.


For the good sanitation system a library should plan in proper water available area which helps library clean, green and healthy. As natural resources are decreasing by its amount, drinking water is also one of them so it’s become responsibility of every human being to save drinking water. By looking in to the matter a library can reuse of waste water and rainwater in plantation, harvesting and flushing in toilets.


Libraries are in an excellent position to be both an ecological operator and promoter of environmental awareness. Green libraries are related to the overall green building movement, libraries have specific needs that raise some extra challenges for their preservation books must be kept away from sunlight as well as moisture and temperature change. Libraries need to be built flexibly, in order to make room for expansions in size and in wiring capabilities.


Aulisio, G. J. (2018). Green libraries are more than just buildings. Electronic Green Journal,

1(35), 1-10.

Swati, D. (2018). Green Is The New Black: Bringing The Libraries Into The Green Scene:

            International Journal of Digital Library Services 5(3), 59-65.

Frey, D. & G.W. Boultbee. (2012). “‘Rediscover green’ at Red Deer Public Library.”Feliciter

58(1):12–14. rediscover-green red-deer-public-library. Accessed on 26 March 2013 (subject tolicence).

Wagner, S & Scherer. (2007). Green building management and sustainable Maintenance. In K.

Latimer & H. Niegard (eds.), IFLA Library Building Guidelines. Developments and reflections (pp. 201–214). Munich: Saur.


Mr. Musa Muhammedis the Assistant University Librarian in Skyline University Nigeria. He has MSc in Information Management from Leeds Beckett UniversityUK.

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