ALA President Loida Garcia – Febo shares insights on sustainable thinking during United Nations event

For Immediate Release
Thu, 05/23/2019


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations


CHICAGO – Today American Library Association President (ALA) Loida Garcia – Febo joined international library leaders for a knowledge-sharing event entitled "Sustainable Development Goals in Libraries Today: the role of libraries in strengthening our communities." The event was hosted by the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library and provided an international platform to discuss how libraries around the world are creating and cultivating new relationships to help communities learn, understand and support sustainable professional development.

In 2015, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda. Access to information is a key component of Goal 16 (“Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”), with Target 10 calling on the international community to “Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.”

“Today’s event provided an opportunity for the ALA to support its ongoing commitment to providing leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information service,” said Garcia – Febo. “The wonderful representation of thoughts and ideas clearly illustrated that our colleagues abroad are pulling in the same direction using library service as a platform to do good in the world by adopting sustainable thinking and transforming lives through education and lifelong learning.”  

Garcia – Febo was joined by such thought leaders as Gerald Beasley, university librarian, Cornell University; Nick Buron, chief librarian, Queens Public Library; Thanos Giannakopoulos, chief, United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library; Robin Kear, liaison librarian, University of Pittsburgh University Library System; and Lauren Reinhalter, librarian, Council on Foreign Relations.

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has taken a step forward by introducing and gaining wide support for the New York Pledge, an initiative to bring about synergies among the libraries of the United Nations system of organizations with the aim to create and strengthen innovative information and knowledge services aligned with the Organization’s work to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Facilitating the creation of knowledge has been recognized as a key driver that can jumpstart and accelerate progress on all Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, United Nations libraries with the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in the lead have made significant improvements and expanded the joint use of critical business systems, above all the United Nations Digital Library, thus advancing further towards realizing a digital information common for the United Nations.

Libraries at the national and global level are trusted institutions that play an invaluable role in helping communities transform and thrive.  Through "Sustainable thinking," a concept that aligns the core values of libraries with the "triple bottom line" definition of sustainability—economic feasibility, environmental stewardship, and social justice— our world’s libraries will inspire the greater good.

Today’s event supports Garcia Febo’s presidential effort to provide library professionals with tools and resources that support sustainable development goals. To view past webinars on sustainable development please visit the ALA’s International Round Table page at . To learn more about ALA’s commitment to  sustainability please visit

About American Library Association
American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library
The United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld connects Member States, UN staff, external researchers and world citizens with credible information, data, facts and human knowledge about the UN. The Library contributes meaningfully towards a deeper understanding of UN activities, actions and deliberations, and, as the primary depository for UN-produced information materials, plays a leading role in the preservation of the UN’s institutional memory.