Participation at “Let’s Go Green! 2023: The Second NSK International Green Libraries Conference”, Zagreb, Croatia

The aims and objectives of the project

The goal of the project consisted on exploration the international experience of the libraries in green transition and establishing personal contacts with international experts and libraries.

Dates of the visit

November  9-10, 2023


“Let’s Go Green! 2023: The Second NSK International Green Libraries Conference” was organized to encourage libraries and librarians to play an active role in promoting sustainable practices and behaviors. It was focused on four main topics.

Firstly, it explored energy-efficient library buildings and how librarians can practice green habits in their everyday work. Secondly, it examined green library management and initiatives, including how libraries can initiate local or national projects to promote sustainability. Thirdly, it delved into citizen science activities and how libraries can mobilize the general public in scientific data collection to contribute to the UN Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals. Finally, the conference explored green libraries and lifelong learning, with a focus on developing educational services about sustainability for users and local communities.

The conference aimed to showcase examples of good practice, explore the public reception of green literacy programs in libraries, and offer continuing professional development about library sustainability. The conference also connected libraries and experts in the field of sustainability to promote sustainable development and a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations.

The conference started with opening remarks of the administration of the National and University Library in Zagreb, Commission for Green Libraries of the Croatian Library Association, and Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia.

A keynote address was made by Dr Harri Sahavirta (Finland), who gave an overview of the rise of environmental awareness and sustainability initiatives of the libraries and presented the current challenges in this context.

There were made more inspiring presentations by internationally acclaimed speakers, Najmeh Shaghaei (Denmark), Chris Sturgeon and Theresa Burress (USA) and others, followed by Q&A sessions, a debate, with ending of the first day of the conference with a citizen science workshop. There was also made a tour of the National and University Library in Zagreb.


The second day continued with thought-provoking presentations on the important role of libraries in furthering sustainable development by building resilient communities, a panel discussion on how libraries can bring sustainability-related issues closer to younger generations and encouraging presentations on experiences from school libraries from Portugal and Croatia. The conference was closed   by summing up all its exciting lessons through a pub quiz.

I was in the team of conference participants named “Talented Librarians” (Republic of Moldova, USA, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia) who was  the winner team  of  the final quiz.

Winners: Mariana Kiriakov with Theresa Burress (University of South Florida, United States) and Elisabeth Rundtqvist (NL Sweden)
Winners: Mariana Kiriakov with Theresa Burress (University of South Florida, United States) and Elisabeth Rundtqvist (NL Sweden)

The outcomes of the project

  • Having an overview of the library work on green issues;
  • Establishing personal contacts for possible future projects;
  • Developing the professional network of librarians having the keen interest to change the future using green initiatives;
  • Contributing to the development of the future of the profession of librarians.