Opening day of Göteborg Book Fair

The first intense day of the Göteborg Book Fair offered a lot of interesting seminars and conversations, many of them in the limelight of reading promotion. Here´s a few highlights:


The Committee on Literature, appointed by the Swedish government last year, presented its final report. The purpose of the Committee’s work was to leave suggestions on how to strengthen the position of literature, and to propose what kind of efforts should be done by the government to meet the technical challenges of today.  A report of 600 pages was officially handed over to the Swedish Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. The report is commented by the Director General of the Swedish Arts Council, Kennet Johansson, available in Swedish here.

The Swedish Reading Ambassador, Johan Unenge, opened the Swedish Arts Council’s stand program this morning. He gave his
opinions on how to engage reading for children and young adults.

Furthermore, Kennet Johansson, talked to Anna Ekström, director general of the Swedish National Agency for Education, about the importance of encouraging reading for children and youths. Much of the conversation dealt with the importance of school libraries. – The school library was extremely important in the village I grew up in, said Kennet Johansson. We were only allowed to borrow one book at a time during the weekends, but I managed to negotiate myself to three books instead.
The conversation was also about the need for libraries to co-operate with schools, as to the need to develop the skills of teachers and educators. Anna Ekström emphasized the importance of school libraries as a refuge for children who may have a hard time.

Paediatrician and former member of the ALMA jury, Lars H Gustafsson, talked to Kjell-Åke Hansson, managing director of Astrid Lindgren’s Näs, on the subject of children’s rights and Astrid Lindgren’s speech Never Violence! from 1978. Why was it really considered to be so provocative at the time? – With Never Violence! she made a connection between the violence at home and world peace, Lars H Gustafsson said. Every strike is a strike towards war.
Lars H and Kjell-Åke talked about Astrid Lindgren’s way of strengthen children’s self-esteem and to make them feel that they also have rights. – You can never underestimate her achievements, Lars H finished.

Finally, Larry Lempert, head of the International Library in Stockholm and chairman of the ALMA jury, was presented to the Greta Renborg award for his remarkable marketing efforts. You can´t really tell by looking at the image, but he was very happy!

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