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Green Libraries - renewing the future 

Green Libraries : Renewing the Future

Green Libraries is a multi-part, hybrid format geared to promote sustainable, local library initiatives. We invite Libraries and Librarians in South Africa who want to explore what 'sustainability' means to them. We are looking for projects that explore how they can develop strategies and tools to promote sustainability in their work and organization, and in their contact with and impact on their communities, to apply to take part in the Green Libraries project.

Goethe-Institut South Africa and French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) announce an open call for project proposals on the topic of "Green Libraries” focusing on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are looking for innovative and practical projects that can encourage libraries to become more sustainable and contribute to achieving the SDGs.

The SDGs are a universal call to action to protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. There are 17 SDGs, which include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions, and partnerships for the goals: https://sdgs.un.org/goals


We are particularly interested in projects that address one or more of the following areas:

  • Sustainable programming and outreach initiatives that promote awareness and action on the SDGs
  • Collaborative partnerships and community engagement initiatives that advance the SDGs.
  • Create awareness of libraries’ social responsibility and leadership in environmental education
  • We welcome project submissions from libraries of all types and sizes, that are interested in advancing sustainable development through libraries. We encourage projects that are scalable, replicable, and have the potential for impact beyond the library community.

Selected projects will receive seed funding/grant of up to 38,000 ZAR per project that will be realized between June and October 2023.

Selected projects will be invited to the Green Library Lab, which will take place in Johannesburg from 12 to 14 June. Travel costs and accommodation will be covered.


Call for Submission for Projects
Info Session
Deadline of Submission for Projects
Selection of participants
Green Library Lab in Johannesburg
Monthly Mentoring Sessions
Final Presentation of projects (online)


To submit a project, please provide a project proposal that includes the following information:

  • Contact information for the project lead
  • Name of the Library and administrative details (address, e-mail, governance, etc)
  • Name of the project (working title)
  • Project pitch (up to 300 words)
  • Project description
  • Project objectives and outcomes
  • Relevance to local context
  • Integration of the Sustainable Development Objectives and environmental impact
  • Project activities
  • Target group
  • Partnership set-up
  • Project budget

Please submit your project proposal by 7th of May 2023:

Submission Form (by 7th of May 2023)

We will review all submissions and select the most promising projects for funding and support. If your project is selected, we will provide you with further instructions and guidance on next steps.

We look forward to receiving your innovative and practical project proposals that can help libraries become more sustainable and contribute to achieving the SDGs. Please have a look at the Green Libraries Map provided by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Supporting Documents

About the Project

Libraries contribute significantly to civil society development, address real challenges, promote community engagement and access to information and knowledge. Libraries provide a powerful infrastructure for launching and sustaining local initiatives. Curiosity, creativity, collaboration, optimism and problem-solving skills are actively encouraged.

More ...

Libraries are highly relevant throughout the country, both in major cities but especially in the more remote rural areas. In less affluent areas, libraries are often the only reliable source of information, education and exchange. They are important places where the cultural heritage of communities is preserved and celebrated. 

The Goethe-Institut Johannesburg and the Institut Français d'Afrique du Sud (IFAS) are hosting Green Libraries, a multi-part, hybrid format in South Africa to promote sustainable, local library initiatives. Green Libraries is aimed at libraries who want to explore what 'sustainability' might mean to them and how they can develop strategies and tools to promote sustainability in their work and organization, and in their contact with and impact on communities.

The programme will be accompanied by workshops, panel discussions and lectures that address the Sustainable Development Goals, project management, green libraries and promote capacity building. The events will be mentored by German, French and (South) African experts.

Participation in Green Libraries is open to the public. Up to 5 libraries will be invited to the Green Library Lab. Within 3 days, innovative and sustainable projects are to be developed that have a practical application and promote positive change for libraries and their communities. The libraries will receive financial support for the implementation of the projects. The results will be shared with the public in a final presentation.

About the Fund

The Franco-German Cultural Fund was set up in 2003 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty of friendship between France and West Germany.

The fund promotes Franco-German cooperation by providing support for cultural and artistic projects in third countries. The German Foreign Office administers the fund in concert with the Goethe-Institut and Institut français.

About the Partners

French Institute of South Africa (IFAS)

The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) is the cultural branch of the French Embassy in South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi. Over the 20 past years, IFAS has worked with multiple public and private partners in South Africa and in more than 30 African countries, prioritizing the development of skills and ecosystems for innovation in the cultural and creative industries.

With each creative project, IFAS develops unique collaborations with the shared goal of making the exchanges between the countries more complementary, dynamic, innovative, and ambitious. The Institute facilitates and implements these collaborations with key players of the French creative industries in training, innovation, business development and public policies to design mutually rewarding projects.


Green Libraries Partners.


For more information and questions about the call for project proposals please contact:
Nesa Fröhlich

Head of Information Services Sub-Saharan Africa
Tel: +27 11 442 3232
Email: nesa.froehlich@goethe.de

For press inquiries please contact:

Sandile Makhathini

Public Relations Officer

Tel: +27 11 442 3232
Email: Makhathini.Sandile@goethe.de