The Norwegian Apple Library is to be in Tromsø
The public library and city archives of Tromsø have been chosen to establish the first Norwegian Apple Library. The aim of this project is to create a model library which will offer good services to children with disabilities while at the same time inspiring others to do the same. The project will run for two years from August 2007.
The Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority announced last April a project to develop such a model library, creating library services and environments suited to the needs of disabled children. All children are entitled to have equal access to their local public library, whether alone or with friends, family or schoolmates. The strategy will be a combination of universal design and specific arrangements to meet special needs. The training of staff and the cooperation of various user groups will be vital to achieving the aims of the project. Inspiration can be drawn from the Swedish Apple Library established ten years ago.
Nine libraries and institutions applied for financing to establish an Apple Library, all showing great enthusiasm and the will to achieve results in this field. Many of them had a sound basis with good local conditions, highly skilled staff and a knowledge of universal design. Some had already identified local partners who could make a useful contribution in support of their efforts.
Tromsø Public Library and City Archives had already included services to children with disabilities in their action plan approved by the local city council only last year. They have a great awareness of the need to improve relevant knowledge skills throughout the whole staff, and they appreciate the challenges to be faced and the problems to be solved. They also emphasise the need to evaluate and document the results of the project as it goes along, if it is to serve as a model Apple Library from which the rest of Norway can draw experience and gain knowledge.
Tone Moseid Senior adviser, Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authoritytone.moseid AT abm-utvikling.no
tone.moseid AT abm-utvikling.no
- improving the quality of life This project to promote reading in prisons was started in August 2005 at the Oslo Prison branch of the Deichman Library. At the moment it is set to continue until the end of 2007, but we hope it will be possible to carry on beyond that date. The project leader is employed on a 50% basis.
The main objective of the project is to determine how a prison library can best contribute to improving the quality of life among the prison inmates. They are given the opportunity of access to cultural experiences by means of literature, both orally and in written form. At times new and alternative methods are also tried out. Personal development is an underlying aim, and we therefore consider it important that the inmates themselves play an active part in the project.
The idea is to carry out various initiatives promoting literature, although not necessarily through the standard method of direct reading. Variation and creativity are important in this context.We hope these initiatives can encourage the inmates to read more widely, thereby creating a basis for shared references through the medium of literature.
The project is supported by the Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority, the organisation ‘Reader seeks book’, Arts Council Norway, the Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs, the Norwegian Writers’ Centre and the Ministry of Justice and the Police. In addition we cooperate with the Oslo Prison’s department for leisure activities and with the Greenland (Oslo) Adult Learning Resource Centre. The many initiatives introduced in 2006 and 2007 included courses in writing, celebration of World Book Day, philosophy café, exhibitions, literary quizzes, book café, visits by various authors and a talk by Kjetil André Aamodt, the world-famous alpine skier, followed by a seminar. These activities are of a qualitative nature and therefore not so easily measured with regard to the results achieved.We have, however, observed that the library has become more visible as an arena for multiple uses. Our cooperation with the Adult Learning Resource Centre has also been considerably strengthened.
Sissel Rødland Librarian, Oslo Prison, Dept.Afengsela AT deichman.no
fengsela AT deichman.no
Translated by Eric Deverill