Nordic Council of Ministers

Nordbok News

Nordbok’s funding of Nordic library and literature projects

Project funding 2005
At Nordbok’s meeting 30.-31.May funds were distributed to support projects planned for 2005. Consideration was given to 29 applications, representing an overall total of NOK 3,7 million. Funds at Nordbok’s disposal amounted to NOK 1,5 million and were finally distributed among 17 applicants. All the five Nordic countries were represented among those receiving project support. Funding was also granted towards projects and arrangements in the autonomous regions of the Faeroe Islands, Greenland and Åland, also in Lithuania and Estonia.

Library projects
Many of the projects granted financial support were connected with the library sector. Iceland’s Association of School Librarians will be arranging a Nordic conference entitled ‘In the world of the sagas’ in order to consider how best to use this literary heritage, together with fairy-tales and folklore, in the schools of today. Two Danish libraries are cooperating with one Swedish and one Norwegian in a project called ‘At floor level – children in the library’. These four libraries will be trying out new ways for children to experience a library through games, new types of furniture, a different approach to book presentation and a better dialogue between media and picture books. The results will be presented in a seminar at the Book and Library Fair in Gothenburg in the autumn of 2006. The County Library of Västerbotten in Sweden has carried out an EU-project, ‘Young Writers in the Barents Region’, which included a literature camp for writers. Now the library will be given the resources to publish an anthology of the works written by these youngsters from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia.

The Helsinki City Library has received funding for a Nordic conference on ‘Library net-based information services’, while six public libraries from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Faeroe Islands are working together on a report entitled Digital Exchange of Nordic Literature. Their intention is to examine the possibilities and limitations with regard to interlibrary lending across national borders of digital literature, including audio books. Technological possibilities often come into conflict with legal obstacles. The project ‘Nordic Comics – a comic strip portal’ is a joint project for comic strip libraries in all the five Nordic countries.

‘Nordic Library Week’ is an annual arrangement involving public libraries throughout the Nordic region. This initiative receives regular support from Nordbok, independently of project funding. In addition to normal funding, the Federation of Nordic Societies has this year been granted extra financial support in order to organise special arrangements in all the Nordic capitals. This year the theme of Nordic Library Week will be ‘Travelling in the Nordic Region’ with Selma Lagerlöf ’s classic book about Nils Holgersen as an appropriate starting point.

Literary projects
In addition to special library projects, resources have also been made available to various literary projects. These include a writers’ school for young people to be arranged by a Danish municipality, ‘Baltic Sea Crime Fiction Days’ in Vilnius and a conference in Tallinn to discuss contemporary Nordic and Estonian literature. Nordic House in the Faeroe Islands will be holding a conference to consider how best to market the literature of minority languages. For the first time ever and with Nordbok’s support, a Sami book fair will be arranged this coming autumn. Nordbok will also occupy a prominent place at this year’s book fair in Gothenburg.

Support for writers visiting public libraries
In addition to project funding Nordbok also offers financial support for arrangements involving visits to public libraries by authors. There exists no particular deadline in such cases and applications are dealt with as they come. During the last two years most applications have come from Norwegian libraries and relatively few from libraries in the other Nordic countries. Further information about Nordbok’s financial support for projects and other arrangements can be found at www.nordbok.org

Translated by Eric Deverill

director, Nordbok.