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Green Libraries Programme Launched

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Arts Council England has awarded £163,000 to CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, to launch the Green Libraries programme, which aims to help libraries address their environmental impact.

Julie’s Bicycle will be supporting CILIP in delivering the programme, alongside the British Library, and public library membership organisation Libraries Connected. Developed in response to COP26 and the long-term climate commitments made by libraries and local authorities across England, the project aims to reduce the carbon footprint of library assets including physical and digital content, buildings and vehicles, enable libraries to help their users engage with environmental issues, and position libraries at the heart of local environmental programmes.

Starting in February 2022, the programme will begin by exploring the different ways that libraries are already tackling environmental issues, and considering how these good practices can be shared more widely, as well as examining how approaches from other sectors could be used to help libraries achieve their environmental goals.

The programme will then share and build on this knowledge in various ways, including developing a Green Libraries Partnership hub where libraries can access information and support on environmental issues, establishing a £40,000 Green Libraries Grant Fund to support environmental activity in libraries, and commissioning research into environmental issues affecting libraries and their users.

CILIP will also publish an evaluation report, summarising the lessons learnt from the programme, and providing evidence-based recommendations to inform future policies in the area.

Sue Williamson, Director, Libraries at Arts Council England said “Libraries are at the heart of communities throughout the country, and we’re delighted to fund this programme which will help position them as hubs for the local action that will be vital in making England’s society and economy sustainable and fit for the future.”

Nick Poole, CEO of CILIP said “I am delighted that CILIP is leading on this exciting and important initiative to support libraries achieve their environmental goals, engage the public and take a lead role in our national response to the climate crisis. Sustainability is a major theme for CILIP over the next five years, and we are pleased to be working with partners such as the Arts Council England, Libraries Connected, Julie’s Bicycle and the British Library to establish this ambitious Green Libraries programme.”

The programme will help libraries respond to the Arts Council’s 10 year strategy, Let’s Create, which requires the organisations it funds to address the environmental impact of their work.

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