Monday, August 15, 2005

IFLA 2005, Oslo: Day 4 (part 2)

Mon 15 Aug. Attended the Children's & Young Adults session after the previous one on government documents. Incidentally, the Libraries for Children & Young Adults section celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, hence the presentation theme "A voyage in the past, present & future".

Big attendance. Must have been like 200 people in the room (the hall was huge though. Lots of room to spare)
Olso2005 15Aug05 010

Olso2005 15Aug05 003 SCCYPL presentation
The panelists -- colleagues from the Standing Committee for Libraries for Children and Young Adults.

First speaker gave an overview of the Norwegian Public Libraries (from historical view to present day services and activities). Highlights from the paper:
  • In 1970s the "silence" sign disappeared for good starting in the children's PL!
  • Norway has a national programme (2003 - 07) called "Make Room for Reading!" - a strategy to stimulate a love of reading & acquisition of knowledge.
  • They also have a national programme for arts & culture in education -- where Norwegian libraries & schools work together to promote Norwegian culture.
  • Mentioned a survey of the reading habits of Norweigian children & Young Adults (unfortunately, the study was done in Norweigian)
  • Made a point that libraries should provide "access to expression, not just information". Also suggests that digital production (by users) was a means to enable expression.
  • Suggests a need to clarify roles of Public Libraries and School Libraries.

The second paper was on best practices of Children's Library services from around the world (which is one of the section's ongoing project). Showed pictures of what various Children's Libraries activities, like this "Donkey mobile library":
Olso2005 15Aug05 012b Best Practices

Presented lots of pictures from Croatia, Norway, Africa, UK, italy, Columbia, Singapore. Speaker said the project was to "broaden our views & minds" and that "your practice could be the solution for someone else".

Final paper was on the history of the section & plans for the future. The section was established in 1955 and called "Library Work with children" (now it's called "Libraries for Children & Young Adults). The 1950s was a time when new insights was made into child's development and psychology, and there was the UN declaration of children's rights. So this contributed to the established and growth of Children's libraries and services. Looking ahead, key issues will be on aspects like literacy & partnership.

There was a pep talk speech at the end (by the president of the Norwegian Reading Association). He said getting children to read is not about "competition with Reality-TV" but about "class, race, gender". That "those who don't read will get doors in their face".

His preposition was that libraries and the work of librarians was about stemming against the tide of intellectual barbarianism (e.g. mindless TV programming). Interesting concept.

He wants librarians to say out loud to the world, "I am proud to be a librarian & you should support what I do".

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  1. Hi Ivan, have been following your Oslo Adventure with great interest. Particularly struck by "Made a point that libraries should provide 'access to expression, not just information'. Also suggests that digital production (by users) was a means to enable expression." This really strikes a chord with me.

  2. Thanks Deb. But it's not been easy trying to post stuff, bec. free internet access is hard to come by... :)


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