Recent Library Developments

Sports and reading

On 11. September 2006 Brodd Football Club in Stavanger was the first to be visited by a ‘changing-room’ librarian. The club’s team for 14-year-old boys has a librarian who brings literature directly to them rather than their going to a library. In addition to Brodd Football Club there are 13 other sports clubs participating in this project run by the organisation ‘Read!’ with the support of Arts Council Norway and the Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority.

The clubs taking part in the project are spread right across the country and their ‘changing-room’ librarians meet the youngsters in different ways and in a variety of places. Librarians who themselves play handball, for example, may train with the youngsters in a warming-up session before presenting their books. The whole team may go out for a pizza evening or perhaps visit the cinema to see film versions of the books they are reading. There are many possibilities open to enthusiastic and creative librarians. Each club receives a collection of some 25 books which they can take to their meetings or which the players can borrow and take home. Visits to the teams by top athletes can also be arranged. This is a pilot project to gain experience before extending the campaign in the autumn to sports and athletics clubs throughout the country.

This nation-wide approach towards sports clubs is just one of three initiatives in the total project ‘Sports and Reading’. Top-level sportsmen and athletes, including the National football team, will also be targeted both with books and visits by authors. This initiative has a role to play in connection with the nation-wide campaign aimed at youngsters, since wider reading among well-known sports personalities is expected to have a ripple-effect also at club level. The third part of the project consists of the website ‘Book Pallet’ (http://www.bokpallen.no), where famous names in sport recommend their favourite books. If you want to know what Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway’s greatest-ever alpine skier, likes to read, you can find the answer here.

Erlend RaAdviser
Norwegian Archive Library and
Museum Authority
erlend.ra AT abm-utvikling.no

Translated by Eric Deverill

Who am I?

What is a thought? Where does space end? These and many other questions were considered by pupils and professional thinkers during the project ‘Who am I?’ carried out in the Norwegian county of Østfold during the period 2005-2006. The aim of this project, part of a wider programme ‘The Cultural Rucksack’, (http://www.denkulturelleskolesekken. no/oversetter/english.htm), was to offer children the opportunity to ponder the meaning of life in surroundings appropriate to such thoughts. Philosophy provides an arena of the mind, while a library with all its books containing questions and answers from various sources and different ages offers the perfect arena for practical initiative.

The main activity in the project consisted of pupils (forms 5-7) meeting a philosopher in the public or school library and taking part in a philosophical discussion. As an incentive to making use of archives, libraries and museums, the pupils were given a brochure containing a brief summary of their visit to the library, advice on further reading, information on obtaining a borrower’s card, a list of museums in the region and a short introduction to tracing their family records in Internet-based archives. In addition they received a ticket providing free entrance for their family to a museum of their choice in Østfold.

The response from pupils, teachers, librarians and philosophers has been mainly positive. To quote one of the pupils, “Together we found answers I could never have found on my own”. A full report on the project (in Norwegian) is available on http://ostfold. ksys.copyleft.no/swfit/pub/ostfold/2006 9 21 12.0.22.shtml?cat=aktuelt

Sidsel Hindal
Adviser, Norwegian Archive,
Library and Museum Authority
sidsel.hindal AT abm-utvikling.no

Translated by Eric Deverill

Senior Adviser National Library of Norway
Adviser, Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority