Children’s librarian and literary educator Annika Edlund has been announced as recipient of Umeå County’s Minerva Prize, which rewards practitioners or promoters of cultural activities related primarily to Västerbotten, in the north of Sweden. This is the citation of the jury (our translation):
“Many people today are talking about a crisis in children’s and youths reading and falling figures concerning lending of books in libraries. That does not apply for Umeå. Umeå residents are using their libraries significantly more than the national average. The same applies to the lending of children’s books, where Umeå has twice as high figures compared with the national average. There are various explanations behind these successes. The most important explanation is that Umeå has many skilled and dedicated librarians who every day make a considerable effort to stimulate and increase peoples interest in books and reading. Annika Edlund is one of these librarians.
Annika is sometimes called ”the super librarian”, an epithet she more than well deserves. For a long time she has been a professional and dedicated volunteer working to increase interest and love of reading for children’s and young adult literature. That has given her a legitimate seat in the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury which annually distributes the world’s finest and largest children’s and young adult literature. She is also one of the founders of the widely spread and highly appreciated reading promotion program at Ersboda Library, the later Grubbe Library, in collaboration with various associations, educational associations and booksellers in Umeå. Annika is also one of the founders and a driving force behind the Book Café Pilgatan which now has developed into a nationally well known and very popular meeting place for Swedish and international authors, lecturers and habitants in Umeå interested in literature and adult education. Therefore Annika Edlund deserves Umeå municipality’s Minerva Prize for 2014, when Umeå is European Capital of Culture.”
Annika Edlund has been a member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury since 2012.