The committee’s secretariat has been transferred from Copenhagen to Oslo and is now organised as an independent entity within the recently-established Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority (ABM-utvikling). The secretariat will be headed by Asbjørn Langeland, previously director of the Norwegian Directorate for Public Libraries. As of May the staff will be augmented by Jenny Fossum Grønn, who will act as adviser.
The secretariat has posted a new home page on the Internet, www.nordbok. org, providing application forms and guidance in a variety of languages including Danish, Swedish, English, Finnish, Faeroese, Greenlandic, Icelandic and Sami. Much of the information on this homepage has been transferred directly from the Danish National Library Authority in Copenhagen, where the secretariat was based up until the end of last year.
Nordbok’s budget for 2003 amounts to DKK 7,578,000. In addition the committee also administers a grant of DKK 400,000 to fund the two-way translation of literature between the Baltic and the Nordic languages.
Nordbok provides financial support to the following initiatives:
- Translation and publication of Nordic literature
- Co-operation between the Nordic public library sectors
- Literary projects, seminars, exhibitions, conferences, publications, courses for authors and translators, etc.
During 2002 the committee received 273 applications for grants towards translations between the Nordic languages, representing an overall amount of DKK 11,921,502.
135 applications were approved and a total of DKK 2,204,000 was provided in financial support. Grants were given towards 8 translations from the Baltic languages to the Nordic and to 22 from the Nordic languages to the Baltic.
Nordbok has drawn up a working schedule for 2003 giving priority to the following aims and objectives:
- Support and development of Nordic literary initiatives
- Improving links between Nordic literary initiatives and Nordic library co-operation
- Initiating and supporting co-operation between Nordic libraries and the Nordic library authorities, also between the library sector and other official authorities, organisations and advisory bodies
- Developing library policy as an instrument in today’s information and network society
- Promoting the writing and dissemination of literature for children and young people, also encouraging the participation of children and young people in the literary process
- Promoting mutual interest, knowledge and respect between peoples of differing ethnic backgrounds in the multicultural Nordic societies of today
- Strengthening literary and library co-operation between the geographic centre and the more peripheral Nordic areas, also between the five Nordic countries and the three autonomous regions of Greenland, the Faeroes and the island of Åland
- Participating in and influencing European and international development in the literary and library fields
- Supporting democratic progress in Nordic neighbouring areas by working to ensure basic cultural activities and by developing cultural exchange between the Baltic and the Nordic countries.
Nordbok arranges two committee meetings each year. The first meeting in 2003 will take place 25.-26. May in Visby on the island of Gotland, Sweden.
Applications for grants towards translation work are dealt with by a special committee where all languages in the Nordic region are represented. This committee also meets twice a year. Final decisions on awarding these grants are taken by Nordbok.
Translated by Eric Deverill