Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the University of Kelaniya Library


From promoting literacy to providing free access to information, libraries are a safe, welcoming space at the heart of communities. The library is visited by the public with the assistance of dedicated staff with a deep understanding of local needs. They work to develop ICT, Internet connectivity, lifelong learning and information skills. Accordingly, the library of the University of Kelaniya contributes to the enhanced results through the Library Services Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as follows.

  • Promoting universal literacy including media and information literacy and digital literacy skills
  • Staff dedicated to developing digital approaches and assisting the community with new digital developments through access to information and communication technology.
  • The library serves as the heart of the research and academic community
  • Protecting and accessing culture and heritage More precisely, giving access to information.
  • Support for general literacy and ICT skills and community access by assisting all libraries at the university to implement SDGs.

SDG 4 - Ensuring Inclusive and Fair Quality Education and Promoting Lifelong Learning Opportunities.

The Library is at the heart of schools, universities and colleges in every country around the world. The University of Kelaniya Library supports all types of literacy programs.  It provides a safe space for learning. It also leads to access to research and data to create new knowledge. It assists researchers to disseminate research results. The University of Kelaniya Library organized

The Library is at the heart of schools, universities and colleges in every country around the world. The University of Kelaniya Library supports all types of literacy programs.  It provides a safe space for learning. It also leads to access to research and data to create new knowledge. It assists researchers to disseminate research results. The University of Kelaniya Library organized a webinar series on different topics. When access to information by the university community, including students during the Covid 19 period, was restricted, many problems arose regarding updating their knowledge with new methods, mechanisms and concepts. Accordingly, this webinar series was designed to expand the horizons of university education so that not only the University of Kelaniya but anyone could participate. These training sessions were designed for all researchers and students and support access to information in local languages. The skills developed through this programmes enhanced the well-being of research and learning in both men and women.

The Library of the University of Kelaniya has decided in 2020 to subscribe only to valuable electronic resources, including e-journals and e-books, so that the entire library community has access to electronic resources without any hindrance. The user community now has access to thousands of information resources through the Shibboleth feature of  its remote access portal, making it easy for everyone to access library resources without any hassle. There is no recording or observation of access, gender, knowledge, education, location, area, etc., which further guarantees equality among all members of the community.

Recognizing the difficulty of accessing information resources for visually impaired students, the library developed a special project to improve its Braille collection and make it available online. Also it launched an Audio book service to enhance the knowledge of visually impaired students. Through it, action was taken to give equal rights to all marginalized communities.

The library acts as a facilitator for the community. Learning centres have been set up in the library using one to one consultancy spaces and to assist the students in learning. The library's interactive media unit organizes and distributes information that can be accessed and used by the community, raising awareness about their social networks and empowering communities with knowledge and access to information via its Facebook page. Also Library has created a Collaborative and Interactive Leaning Space to promote collaborative learning by providing equal access to all students coming from different backgrounds, different races and different religions.

The library is in the process of establishing a foreign language library for students and staff that includes different foreign languages. Learning is structured around to build reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills and focuses on activities to refine grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

SDG 10 - Reducing Inequality between Countries and Cultures:

Fair access to information, freedom of expression, association and assembly, and privacy are central to individual freedom. The University of Kelaniya Library helps to reduce inequality in its community by providing an open, secure, civic space to celebrate urban and rural outcomes. The library pays special attention to providing the culture and heritage of the nation. Accordingly, the University of Kelaniya Library established a museum to contribute to the conservation of endangered ola leaf manuscripts and other rare books. The purpose of this museum project was to build it in a way that would benefit not only the university community but also any party interested. These days the some important and are on the verge of destruction material is being digitized for wider accessibility. Library also promotes local history by organising exhibitions etc.

The University of Kelaniya Library has been used as an IMF deposit, making it an important place for information on IMF and SDGs. Libraries support SDGs progress through a wide range of programs and services already tailored to the needs of the community.

The library contributes to enhancing the education of the entire community by recognizing the need for knowledge development of the marginalized school communities in the country and donating the necessary books and library resources including bookshelves and other equipment to school libraries.
The university library is engaged in specialized activities to promote lifelong learning opportunities. The University of Kelaniya Library has made great strides under its vision of supporting the objectives of equality for all, introducing ICT access, improving the computer skills of library users and enabling users to succeed in education. For example, due to the neglect of computer literacy by the junior library staff of the library, training programs with 200 hours duration were implemented with the aim of imparting basic computer literacy to all those employees. The Librarian has also written articles for international publications emphasizing the need for human rights literacy.

The country's SDG 2030 agenda provides access to library information and resources to promote research development, technological capabilities, innovation incentives, and increasing research and development staff. The University of Kelaniya has made progress in the field of science, technology and innovation and has taken the lead in creating and maintaining research and development product numbers and institutional repositories to bring research information into the world within the relevant policy framework.

Distributes information using existing library networks in the country and uses it collaboratively. Sri Lanka Science and Technology Information Network (SLSTINET), Health Literature, Library, and Information Services (HELLIS), Agricultural Information Network (AGRINET) are some examples. It helps to develop knowledge through fairness, equality as well as meeting the needs of public library readers. It plays a pivotal role in promoting the development of capabilities through enhanced skills and resources to achieve universal literacy and the development of public access to information and communication technology and infrastructure to support digital access at all levels.

Building an ideal nation requires a holistic approach and a developing country like Sri Lanka must be mindful of the indicators required to achieve all SDGs. The Sustainable Sri Lanka 2030 Vision and Strategic Process for Socio-Economic Transformation reflects the Advancement of Human Rights, Education, Science and Technology. Therefore, the University of Kelaniya Library is well aware about these needs to transcend traditional practices in order to establish effective libraries and information services for the proper management, supply and dissemination of information and to have a greater impact on the realization of SDGs.