Toward becoming an inclusive library. Integrating Sustainable Development Goal 5 in the library agenda

Publication Date05 Feb 2020
AuthorJoseph Marmol Yap,Yelizaveta Kamilova
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,HR in libraries,Library strategy,Library promotion
Toward becoming an
inclusive library
Integrating Sustainable Development Goal 5 in
the library agenda
Joseph Marmol Yap
Library, Reference, Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and
Yelizaveta Kamilova
Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Purpose The librarys role in promoting and supporting the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable
Development Goal (SDG) is beyond borders. It has the capacity to be a powerful driving force in leading
exemplary programs that will transform society in many dimensions. This paper will share the value of
libraries in integrating SDGs into their work and how it can positively advocate for change toward attaining an
inclusive, open and tolerant society.
Design/methodology/approach This survey research and program evaluation are designed to solicit
opinions from participants of two library programs focusing on gender equality at Nazarbayev University.
Data collection was prepared, gathered and analyzed using Qualtrics.
Findings Participants believed that gender-related programs of the library are positive ways on how to
stimulate a gender-balanced society. The programs increased awareness on gender equality among the
academic community and promoted the welfare and rights of marginalized sectors. Finally, these programs
addressed various stigmas, thus empowering vulnerable groups to stand up to discrimination.
Practical implications Libraries are safe spaces that advocate social inclusivity.
Social implications It proves that a library can hold programs in support of SDGs, particularly on gender
Originality/value This paper shares academic library initiatives in Central Asia, particularly in
Kazakhstan, in support of SDGs.
Keywords Sustainable Development Goal, Gender equality, Women equality, Human library, Library
program, Kazakhstan
Paper type Case study
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enforced by the United Nations (UN) in 2016 are a
challenge for countries that must be achieved by 2030 (Diaz-Sarachaga et al., 2018). There are
17 SDGs introduced by the UN, each with its own corresponding targets. To name a few, there
are SDGs for ending poverty, quality education, gender balance, clean energy, water and so
on. This paper connects the role of libraries in support of SDG 5, to achieve gender equality
and empower all women and girls(United Nations, 2019). This specific SDG aims for the
progress and protection of girls and women. By extension, this paper broadens the meaning
of gender equality to include other vulnerable groups not explicitly identified in the targets
stated by UN.
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report
on Gender Policy Delivery in Kazakhstan (2017), women are protected in the sovereign
republic of Kazakhstan by two laws enacted in 2009: Law on State Guarantees of Equal
library using
The authors wish to thank Ms. Mary Kay Rathke, former Senior Expert Librarian at Nazarbayev
University for her valuable inputs in improving this paper.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Received 20 August 2019
Revised 18 December 2019
Accepted 14 January 2020
Library Management
Vol. 41 No. 2/3, 2020
pp. 53-66
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/LM-08-2019-0057

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