Green initiatives towards environmental sustainability: Insights from libraries in Kenya

Arnold Mwanzu, Emily Bosire-Ogechi, Damaris Odero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental protection is an increasingly pressing issue all over the world. Ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect, global climate change and global warming are among the rising environmental concerns. The increasing number of environmentally conscious consumers has resulted in numerous Go Green campaigns and a Go Green movement, along with solutions and calls for consumers, corporations and governments to be more proactive in going green in every aspect. Libraries are no exception. Although it is so important, little is known about the green-library concept in the African context and among Kenyan libraries. Like some other developing countries, Kenya has responded to climate change in various ways because of its adverse impacts. It is important to explore how libraries are planning for a sustainable future. Subsequently, this study aimed to explore the adoption of green-library concepts in Kenya for environmental sustainability with a view to proposing strategies that can be used to guide libraries in going green. The study adopted a qualitative approach. A sample of 12 libraries was purposively drawn from a population of 227 academic, public and special libraries in Kenya. Data was collected using semi-structured interview schedules complemented by observation and a document review, and analysed using grounded theory. The findings show that libraries in Kenya, under their umbrella organizations, have taken advantage of their knowledge of green concepts through adopting and implementing green practices and coming up with strategies to enhance green libraries and promote environmental sustainability. They have done this mainly through redesigning and renovating to meet ever-changing user demands in line with green-library standards. The study concludes that librarians in Kenyan libraries understand green-building concepts and have adopted different green initiatives, albeit partially to reposition and maintain their position globally. The study proposes three strategies for fully going green: active user involvement in green initiatives; improving performance and growth measuring metrics; and maintaining green-library standards in accordance with the IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section (ENSULIB) green-library checklist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-314
Number of pages17
JournalIFLA Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Green libraries
  • Kenyan libraries
  • environmental sustainability
  • going green
  • green initiatives


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