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'Salus Publica' in Latin means 'common good'. In this sense, the SALUS PUBLICA Library is intended to promote sustainability and put it into discourse. It shall create and preserve knowledge, but also be a modern 'living' library in transition.

 This process of transition began with its emergence:


The Idea

In the beginning there was a problem: wherever we tried to talk to people about sustainable development, there was great helplessness.

They didn't know what 'sustainability' meant or how to implement it. This challenge gave rise to the idea - and the claim - of providing knowledge that not only informs, but inspires.

We chose Berlin as the location, because it is also where our hibisca e.V. association is based, which organises and supports the project.

The idea for the Sustainability Library was born.


What is a Library?

Next, we founded a working group and thought about what we actually meant by a library. And we talked to other people who had already implemented a library. For example the Robert-Jungk-Bibliothek für Zukunftsfragen in Salzburg or the Umweltbibliothek (environmental library) in Leipzig. We also visited the library of the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) in Dessau-Roslau. But what is a library really? Is it still up-to-date as a format? We answered the question for ourselves with a passionate 'yes' and started collecting media. From library removals, antiquarian business closures, obscure stuff shops and sometimes even from the trash!


Structure of the library. Author: Dr. Mario Hilgemeier. Copyright SALUS PUBLICA Library, hibisca e.V., Berlin. All rights reserved.Structure of the library. Author: Dr. Mario Hilgemeier. Copyright SALUS PUBLICA Library, hibisca e.V., Berlin. All rights reserved.

Structure and Technology

Our research gave us a rough idea of how to build a library today. Of course, the question of how to implement something like this structurally and technically was and is a demanding one. Because we will not only make books and magazines or DVDs available in the library. What kind of computer programs are needed? Is that also possible with Open Source? What should our Wiki look like, in which we would like to collect the reviews and tips of our users about our media and make them available online? How do we do this with documents that are made available to us (legal rights situation)? How do we ensure that we can implement our quality standard for content and use of the library and secure it permanently? And with which system (planned subject areas of the SALUS PUBLICA Library) should the whole thing be classified? A lot of work and many hours of racking of brains at the table and on the phone.


A Concept Emerges

We have combined all our previous experiences into one concept for our library. We are now even more people, including experts, who know how to organise a library in practice. And we have already collected over 2,000 books and media. These include some very wonderful things, such as a 15-part (original) series by Grzimek on threatened biodiversity, an (original) Whole Earth catalogue, novels on the present and future of sustainable societies, specialist books on climate change, publications on resources and their changes, children's books on environmental protection ... . And we have catalogued the first of our media on computer and made them available for test users of our 'sister project' ARCHER TYPES:**, a civic science study on sustainable development.


The Library Laboratory

The library laboratory, which we started in spring of 2018, is now putting our concept into practice. In four phases we will collect resources, inspire people to participate, build organizational structures as well as find a suitable location and prepare for the opening in 2020. Our vision becomes reality!


Status: 2019-05-14





 Participation wanted

The Library Lab and
its five lab teams