Jorun Systad

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted that many of our section members will be able to join us for the 85th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Athens, Greece, and our preconference Satellite meeting in Beograd, Serbia.

We wish for this to be memorable meetings during which new knowledge and best practices are shared and professional relationships are begun and enhanced. 

If you are preparing to attend our meetings or, like most of the Children librarians I know, are eager to share knowledge or practice I hope that you will appreciate this newsletter. The opportunity to present the results of your work to other librarians is an important part of our professional collaboration and is fundamental in developing new and better library services for children and young adults. Please share this newsletter!!
 See you in Athens!

Jorun Systad, Chair of the Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section



By Marianne Martens, Secretary of the Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section

From Croatia to Singapore, with a few stops in-between, our current newsletter takes a global look at how libraries are connecting young people around the world with digital tools. Whether communities support or warn against digital tools for young people, it is apparent from these articles that if as practitioners we want to engage with young people where they are, we must do so in physical and digital environments. 


The IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Children Aged 0-18 (revised 2018) highlight the importance of providing digital services for young people, and demonstrate how librarians can help foster young people’s digital literacy skills. 


Digital Collection of Student's picturebooks

Writing about the Dubovac Elementary School in Dubovac, Croatia, librarian Ana Sudarević describes work to design unique digital collections that include both original learning materials, and students’ own picturebooks. Croatian students have the opportunity to enter their digital stories into a national competition, and the Dubovac School has had several winning titles. There is an important mentoring component to this project, as students join the Young Librarians Group, engaging in peer-to-peer learning with more experienced students as they become skilled at digitization. 


A Online-Library Community for Children in Denmark

Another project that focuses on young people’s own content, is Anne Sofie Cramer at the Roskilde, Denmark public library, describes as a national, online community for tweens from 7-14, which promotes reading in part by highlighting young people’s own user-generated stories and reviews.  


Teaching Digital Skills in Rural Nigeria

Nigerian librarian Ngozi Perpetua Osuchukwu describes addressing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in rural Nawgu, Nigeria when her library collaborated with an NGO to introduce children to ICTs and related resources, including laptops, internet access, tools for gaming, funds for a generator and fuel, as well as human and technical resources for training. This month-long project provided preliminary access to many children who had seen computers on television or in books, but had never touched one themselves. 


The Internet of Things in a Russian Young Adult's Library

In Russia, Anton Purnik from the State Library for Young Adults in Moscow, reports on possible applications for the Internet of Things in libraries, from smart bookshelves, to the use of robots and even to drones, which could be used to deliver books to remote villages. Yet while benefits to using technology are huge, above all, Purnik recommends that technology be balanced with the human side of libraries—that warm and cozy atmosphere which is so important to patrons. 


Reading Promotion and Gamification in Singapore

Pearle Chua, with the National Library Board in Singapore, describes its innovative Book Bugs program that uses both gamification and user-generated content to encourage good reading habits in children. Started in 2016, this reading program uses a collectible / trading card game concept to encourage children to read more and to find joy in reading.


Mobile Library Services in Stockholm

And last but not least, Britt-Marie Ingdén-Ringselle, who is a Librarian at Stockholm Public Library, describes the library’s efforts to reach those who do not come to the library—specifically young people. By using electric cargo bikes and showcasing everything from books to virtual reality, to robot programming—sometimes even in “hammock libraries,” (and who wouldn’t want to hang out in one of those!), Stockholm Public Library reaches young people where they are, providing the ultimate in outreach to attract young people to libraries. 


Across the stories in our newsletter, libraries around the world are engaging youth with digital tools—whether it from simply providing access, to harnessing technology to give voice to  young people’s own creative ideas while providing the best possible service, it is clear that digital opportunities are a crucial way to engage young people.