When you learn to read as a child, a whole new world opens up to you. That is how I remember it myself, and I also remember the sensation when I first visited a children’s library – a feeling of the world suddenly becoming so much larger. I didn’t discover the library until I started school, where it was housed in two adjoining classrooms.
My own experience is, of course, historically conditioned. Almost every single Danish child today will have met the library much earlier.
But the feeling that the library can be a revelation and inspire a love of reading is hardly unique, and it emphasises the importance of the library in the development of reading skills both for children and adults – based on the desire to learn.
When we in the editorial office got the idea of choosing ’joy of reading’ as the theme for this issue of SPLQ, this was actually prompted by the present campaign in Denmark named ‘Children and literature’, and the fact that Norway is running a major campaign in which libraries also play a part, ’The cultural schoolbag’. As you will be able to see, there are, however, a number of activities and projects in all the Nordic public libraries which support and encourage a love of reading.
Jonna Holmgaard Larsen
jhl AT bs.dk
Sidsel Hindal, sidsel.hindal AT abm-utvikling.no
The Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority
Barbro Wigell-Ryynänen, barbro.wigell-ryynanen AT minedu.fi
Finnish Ministry of Education, Dep. for Cultural Policy
Helena Kettner, helena.kettner AT kur.se
Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs
Scandinavian Public Library Quarterly (SPLQ)
is published by the Nordic Public Library Authorities