Upscaling Sustainable Collaborative Consumption Using Public Libraries


  • Henrik Jochumsen University of Copenhagen
  • Tom Erik Julsrud CICERO Center for International Climate Research
  • Mia Mathiasson University of Southern Denmark
  • Espen Eigil Eigil Barratt-Due Solum UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
  • Monica Guillen-Royo CICERO Center for International Climate Research
  • Anniken Førde UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
  • Sandra Elise Bakkevoll CICERO Center for International Climate Research



Public libraries, sustainable development, sustainable consumption, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, upscaling


UPSCALE is an international collaboration of universities, research institutes, public libraries, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that explore the preconditions for and possible upscaling of collaborative consumption using public libraries. UPSCALE runs until autumn 2024, and results will be published continuously in journals dealing with library and information studies, climate research, and sustainability. In this research note, we introduce ongoing research from the UPSCALE research group by presenting several case studies that show how public libraries act as change agents in different ways regarding sustainable development. This might be by facilitating, promoting the lending, and sharing alternative collections in the library or by building collaborations, partnerships, and networks with local community actors, NGOs, and other local and national partners.


Aall, C., Klepp, I.G., Engeset, A.B., Skuland, S.B., & Støa, E. (2011). Leisure and sustainable development in Norway: Part of the solution and the problem. Leisure Studies, 30(4), 453–476.

Acquier, A., Daudigeos, T., & Pinkse, J. (2017). Promises and paradoxes of the sharing economy: An organizing framework. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 125, 1-10.

Ameli, N. (2017). Libraries of things as a new form of sharing. Pushing the sharing economy. The Design Journal, 20(1), S3294-S3304.

Belk, R. (2014). You are what you can access: Sharing and collaborative consumption online. Journal of Business Research, 67(8), 1595-1600.

Beutelspacher, L., & Meschede, C. (2020). Libraries as promoters of environmental sustainability: Collections, tools and events. IFLA Journal, 46(4), 347–358.

Botsman, R., & Rogers, R. (2011). What´s mine is yours: How collaborative consumption is changing the way we live. Collins.

Boyer, R. W. H. (2015). Grassroot innovation for urban sustainability: Comparing the diffusion pathways of three ecovillage projects. Environment and Planning A, 47(2), 320-337.

Bradley, K., & Persson, O. (2022). Community repair in the circular economy – fixing more than stuff. Local Environment, 27(10-11), 1321-1337.

DB2030 | Netværk for biblioteker og aktører, der arbejder med FN’s Verdensmål (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2023, from:

Claudelin, A., Tuominen, K., & Vanhamäki, S. (2022). Sustainability perspectives of the sharing economy: Process of creating a library of things in Finland. Sustainability, 14(11), 6627.

Cohen, B., & Kietzmann, J. (2014). Ride on! Mobility business models for the sharing economy. Organizations and Environment, 27(3), 279-296.

Directory of Health (2010). Hvordan etablere utstyrssentral – Fysisk aktivitet og friluftsliv. (Brosjyre). Retrieved November 7. 2022, from:

Erdvik, I. B., & Bjørnarå, H. B. (2022). BUA-nettverkets omdømmeundersøkelse: Resultater fra 2022. NORCE Helse og Samfunn. Retrieved November 10. 2022, from:

Fraanje, W., & Spaargaren, G. (2019). What future for collaborative consumption? A practice theoretical account. Journal of Cleaner Production, 208, 499–508.

Frederiksen, C.S. & Hendricks, V. F. (2018) Kæmp for kloden. Gyldendal.

Frenken, K., & Schor, J. (2017). Putting the sharing economy into perspective. Environmental Innovation and Social Transformation, 23, 3-10.

Geels, F. (2012). A socio-technical analysis of low-carbon transitions: introducing the multi-level perspective into transport studies. Journal of Transport Geography, 24, 471-482.

Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Simon & Schuster.

Goksøyr, M. (2013). Taking ski tracks to the north. The invention and reinvention of Norwegian polar skiing: Sportisation, manliness and national identities, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 30(6), 563-579.

Guillen-Royo, M. (2023). Exploring the role of emotions in upscaling collaborative consumption through libraries in Norway. Cleaner and Responsible Consumption, 8, 100108.

Gurholt, P. K., & Haukeland, P. I. (2019). Scandinavian friluftsliv (outdoor life) and the Nordic model. In: Tin, M. B., Telseth, F., Tangen, J. O., & Giulianotti, R. (eds.). The Nordic model and physical culture. Routledge.

Hargreaves, T., Hieschler, S., Seyfang, G., & Smith, A. (2013). Grassroots innovations in community energy: The role of intermediates in niche development. Global Environmental Change, 23(5), 868-880.

Hauke, P. (2018). From information literacy to green literacy: Training librarians as trainers for sustainability literacy. Retrieved February 12. 2023, from:

Hysing, E., & Olsson, J. (2018). Green inside activism for sustainable development political agency and institutional change. Springer International Publishing.

International Federation of Library Associations. 2019. IFLA Strategy 2019 – 2024. September 2019.

International Federation of Library Associations. 2021. LET’S WORK TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE. Retrieved November 8. 2021, from:

Jochumsen, H., Rasmussen, H. C., & Skot‐Hansen, D. (2012). The four spaces – a new model for the public library. New Library World, 113(11/12), 586–597.

Jochumsen, H., Rasmussen H. C., & Skot-Hansen, D. (2017). Towards Culture 3.0 - Performative space in the public library. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 23(4), 512-524.

Kann-Rasmussen, N., Hvenegaard Rasmussen, C., & Blomgren, R. (2023). LAMs as activists? Dilemmas between neutrality and taking a stand. In: Hvenegaard Rasmussen, C., Rydbeck, K., & Larsen, H. (eds.). Libraries, archives and museums in transition: Changes, challenges, and convergence in a Scandinavian perspective. Routledge.

Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127, 221–232.

Mansour, E. (2020). Libraries as agents for development: The potential role of Egyptian rural public libraries towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals based on the UN 2030 Agenda.

Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 52(1), 121–136.

Martin, C. J. (2016). The sharing economy: A pathway to sustainability or a nightmarish form of neoliberal capitalism? Ecological Economics, 121, 149-59.

Mathiasson M. H. & Jochumsen H. (2022). Libraries, sustainability and sustainable development: a review of the research literature. Journal of Documentation, 78(6): 1278–1304.

Mathiasson, M. H., & Jochumsen, H. (2023). The Sustainable Library: A retrospective case study of a public library sharing initiative. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 0(0).

McDevitt, J. (2020). Words that start with E and other reasons for librarians to fight climate change and climate change denial. ERA.

Mills J., Durepos G., & Elden W. (2010). Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Mønsted, S. (2020). Bibliotekerne er indbegrebet af deleøkonomi. Perspektiv, November 2020. Retrieved February 17. 2023, from:

Regeringen. (2021). Handlingsplan for FN’s verdensmål. Finansministeriet/Danish Ministry of Finance.

Robison, M., & Shedd, L. (2017). A history of things collections: From specialized precursors to present-day diversity. In: Robison M., & Shedd L. (eds.) Audio recorders to zucchini seeds: Building a library of things. Libraries Unlimited, pp. 15–25.

Sheth, J. N., Sethia, N. K., & Srinivas, S. (2011). Mindful consumption: A customer-centric approach to sustainability. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(1), 21-39.

Söderholm, J. (2016). Borrowing tools from the public library. Journal of Documentation, 72(1), 140–155.

Söderholm, J. (2018). Tool lending librarianship. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 50(4), 374–385.

Statistics Norway (2022). Index of wholesale and retail sales. Retrieved November 9. 2022, from:

Thiele, L. P. (2016). Sustainability (2nd ed.). Polity.

United Nations (2020). Raising awareness and assessing sustainability literacy on DDG 7. Retrieved May 17. 2023, from:

Westskog, H., Julsrud, T. E., Kallbekken, S., Frenken, K., Schor, J., & Standal, K. (2021). The role of community sharing in sustainability transformation: Case studies from Norway. Sustainability: Science,

Practice and Policy, 17(1), 334-348.




How to Cite

Jochumsen, H., Julsrud, T. E., Mathiasson, M., Eigil Barratt-Due Solum, E. E., Guillen-Royo, M., Førde, A., & Bakkevoll, S. E. (2023). UPSCALE: Upscaling Sustainable Collaborative Consumption Using Public Libraries. Nordic Journal of Library and Information Studies, 4(1), 94–105.