Posts Tagged ‘Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth’

Videos from the announcement on YouTube

April 3, 2014


Reflections from Göteborg Book Fair by guest blogger Lotta Brilioth

September 28, 2013

We asked Lotta Brilioth Biörnstad, coordinator for children’s culture at the Swedish Arts Council, to share some of her reflections from the book fair:

During the last days of September literature is celebrated at the Göteborg Book Fair. The first two days most of the visitors are librarians, authors, policymakers, publishers and other advocates for literature. For me, going there is like being a kid again, with my own toy store. So many interesting seminars, so many good news (yes, there are problems too), so many smart, hardworking, competent people looking for new, wonderful children’s books and for useful methods to make children read.

Yesterday the Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, presented a government bill on literature. Among other things it proposes a new commission for the Arts Council to promote childrens literature “on a national, strategic, level”. Childrens’ reading is really on the agenda these days. Like every other European country we are worried about the fact that the number of poor readers is increasing. Especially teenage boys read less. During the last two days I have listened to scholars, teachers, authors and librarians adressing the problem. A depressing thing is a new investigation that shows that many teachers read very little, or not at all. Librarians, on the contrary, read much more than the average citizen. Even children read quite a lot, but a great part of it is short texts on the internet, on the mobile phone, while playing computer games.

We need to make teachers read, organize modern school libraries, with professional librarians, promote cooperation between public libraries and schools and, of course, make sure that all those fantastic books reach the children. One of the solutions is to start seeing new media as a useful tool instead of a threat to “real” books. But, personally, I’m old fashioned enough to prefer paper books. Do I need to say that my suitcase was stuffed with books, when I left Gothenburg to take the train back to Stockholm. I will spend the rest of the weekend curled up in the sofa, traveling only in my mind.

Lotta Brilioth Biörnstad
Coordinator for children’s culture
Swedish Arts Council

Signe Westin from the Swedish Arts Council with Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth

Signe Westin from the Swedish Arts Council with Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth

Sweden’s Minister for Culture opens the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

February 14, 2013
Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

“It is a great honour to be opening this important event and it will be exciting to see Swedish literature for children and young adults in an international context,” Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, the Swedish Minister for Culture, stated in a press release yesterday.

“As well as giving Sweden an opportunity to promote its children’s and young adult literature, the fair also offers a forum for discussions and debates on how we can stimulate young people to read more books.”

Photo: Sweden's Ministry of Culture

Photo: Sweden’s Ministry of Culture

As we´re written before on this blog, Sweden will be Guest of honor at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which opens on March 25. As guest of honor, Sweden will be presenting a major exhibition of contemporary Swedish illustration, as well as seminars and activities featuring Swedish’ authors and illustrators (further reading about the programme here).

Kennet Johansson, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council, commented the Swedish’ participation with the following words:

“The Swedish Arts Council administers the world’s greatest award in children’s and young adult literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), whose recipient is announced each year in Bologna. Now we have an additional opportunity to promote reading among children and young people internationally, and we are very pleased for this chance to present Sweden as guest of honor.”

Both Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth and Kennet Johansson will participate at the announcement of this year’s ALMA recipient, at the Illustrator’s café  at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on March 26 at 1:00 pm.

“Books build bridges”

September 28, 2012

Those words came from jury chairman Larry Lempert, during his public conversation with journalist Gunilla Kindstrand today. The context was the 10th anniversary of the Astrid Lindgren memorial award, and during 20 minutes the work of the ALMA and the previous recipients were discussed.
– How hard is it to really reach out to all around the world?
– Well, we are in contact with some 400 institutions and organisations internationally. They are the experts on the authors, storytellers, illustrators and reading promoters in their territory, or language area.
And of course, working with the ALMA came up.
– Do you argue sometimes in the jury?
– Always. In a positive way. It´s always good to have different opinions, and by debating different views we find the right way. And in the end, when the recipient or recipients are chosen, there is always a consensus in the jury.

Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, presented the Illis quorum medal to Gunilla Bergström, who receives the medal for her pioneering work as children’s book author and illustrator with an unfailing child’s perspective.
– I am extremely surprised, delighted and grateful, Gunilla Bergström said after the presentation.

Birgitta Wallin, editor at publishing house Karavan and Gunilla Brinck, library consultant, talked to Anna Selvåg from Swedish Arts Council about their experiences of working with reading promotion for children in South Africa and Botswana. Both Birgitta and Gunilla gave very interesting examples of the aim to develop good methods for reading promotion. In the case of South Africa, Gunilla talked about the work of identifying reading promoting organisations, and the difficulties going from a storytelling tradition in society, towards a tradition of reading.

Sweden’s Minister for Culture answers three questions about the ALMA

May 31, 2012

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth attended the award ceremony for Guus Kuijer, at the Stockholm Concert Hall May 28. Photo: Stefan Tell

In conjunction with the award ceremony for the 2012 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Sweden’s Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, answered a few questions about her views on literature for children and young people.

Why is it important to have a prize for children’s and young people’s literature?

“A prize like this puts the spotlight on authors of works for children and young people and hopefully encourages reading. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is also the world’s biggest prize for children’s books. For me, the right of children and young people to culture is one of the most important issues of cultural policy. Whatever their background, all children should be able to access professional culture, and literature in particular is crucial in helping us develop as people.”

What is the government doing to encourage children and young people to read?

“We need to do even more to promote literacy. But financial support for children’s literacy has almost doubled since 2006. In schools, there has been a reading, writing and arithmetic drive for younger children in particular, with a budget of up to SEK 1.5 billion. The Schools Act now also requires every school to have a library.

“The Literature Commission, which will report its findings in the autumn, has been tasked with studying literacy among children and young people and proposing measures to increase reading. We also have a special literacy ambassador for children’s and young people’s literature, author Johan Unenge, who tours the schools.”

What do you think about the future of books?

“The written word has a unique capacity to touch the reader’s innermost feelings and imagination in a way that no other media can match. You can also take a book at your own pace and tempo. Although traditional books will increasingly be found on e-readers instead of in printed form, I am optimistic about the future of books, and of storytelling. I would also like to see all school pupils start the day with half an hour of reading literature from their very first year.”

This interview was published in Swedish at the Government’s web. Link to Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth’s speech at the award ceremony, here.

Major initiative for children’s literature in Bologna 2012-2013

September 23, 2011

Next year the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be presented for the tenth time and celebrated with an anniversary exhibition at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. During the fair, the 2012 award recipient will also be announced.     

In March 2013, Sweden will be the guest of honour at the international Bologna Fair. The Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet) announced this today at a press conference in Gothenburg.

Swedish Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Roberta Chinni, responsible for the Bologna Children's Book Fair, and Kennet Johansson, Director General Swedish Arts Council

“We have been given a unique opportunity to showcase Swedish children’s and young adult literature in an international context. The rights of children and young people are central to Sweden’s cultural policy,” says Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. 

“We are responsible for the world’s largest prize for children’s and young adult literature and we now see this as a further opportunity to promote Swedish literature and to encourage children and young adults to read.  We are extremely pleased about being the guest of honour at the Bologna Fair,” says Kennet Johansson, Director General of the Swedish Arts Council.

More information is available in our newsroom here.