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Design for sustainability

James W. Marcum (Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck and Madison, New Jersey, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 19 May 2009




To begin making the library sustainable requires a vision of what will be created and a description of the outcome of the process. This paper aims to address the issue


The paper provides a viewpoint on developing the sustainable library.


Libraries have important roles to play in the unfolding internet saga, from preserving and organizing knowledge to accelerating and designing learning environments. Achieving sustainability is the new imperative, but the process is difficult, not easy. New mindsets, new strategies of collaboration and networking, widespread professional and staff engagement, and measuring and managing progress are all challenges to be met.

Practical implications

In these troubled times clear vision and purpose are needed to maintain stakeholder support. Sustainability provides a model for designing appropriate vision, facilities, and services toward that end.


The complexities of designing sustainable libraries requires ongoing discussion and exploration. This paper adds insight to the debate.



Marcum, J.W. (2009), "Design for sustainability", The Bottom Line, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 9-12.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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