The United Nations action plan on sustainable development, called Agenda 21, is applied as a new framework to strategic management of libraries and information services is described in this chapter. Strategic management with Agenda 21 involves adapting the library to its social and ecological environment. It affects the entire organization including institutional and individual strategies. Key issues are ecology, social responsibility, accountability and ethics. The chapter is not about climate change, but is about goal definition and resource allocation. The message is that library management should contribute to the sustainable development of society on a local level, in addition to its particular cultural or scientific objectives. The global approach of Agenda 21 helps to evaluate library performance as a system, against criteria derived from the action plan, and to develop sustainable scenarios integrating social and ecological impact. Also, following the Agenda 21 philosophy, no performance level such as service quality, information technology, financial balance or carbon footprint should be evaluated unrelated to the other levels. In the new societal context, social, economic and ecological aspects are inter-connected. The author’s conviction is that the traditional cultural and scientific functions of libraries cannot be isolated from this environment, and that strategic library management must integrate sustainable development, not as a marginal element, but at the heart of analysis and decision-making.
This chapter is based on master’s lectures on library management at the University of Lille 3, France, and on a paper presented at the 5th Joint Conference of Slovene Special and Academic Libraries at Ljubljana, Slovenia (Schöpfel, 2012), and I would like to sincerely thank my students, colleagues and librarians for helpful discussion and exchange.
Schöpfel, J. (2014), "Strategic Library Management with the United Nations’
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