"O mktiga fer, ge mitt barn i faddergva inte bara sknhet, hlsa och rikedom och allt det dr ni brukar komma stickande med - ge mitt barn lshunger, det ber jag med brinnande hjrta. Jag ville s grna att mitt barn skall f i sin hand nyckeln till det frtrollade landet, dr man kan hmta den sllsammaste av all gldje ..."

Astrid Lindgren

Read and listen

Lsfrmjandelyft fr folkbibliotek 2021-2023

Kulturrdets Regleringsbrev 2021

Ungar och medier 2021
Ungar och medier 2023

Find out more

Some reading projects where Ulla Rnstrm contributed to success:

Projektet "Kloka Ugglan" var ett samarbete mellan bibliotek och skola i Skrholmen. Utbildning om barns sprkutveckling och frdjupad lsning genom lsgrupper och boksamtal i Lillholmsskolan, k 3.

Ett lsande Norden - Bokprat, barnbokskaravaner och lsstafetter.
Nordbok och Ett lsande Norden 2000

En praktiskt anvndbar "handbok" ver fungerande lsfrmjande, med lokala rapporter frn olika hll i Norden. Riktar sig till personer "p fltet", frmst bibliotekarier och lrare.

Lsprogram fr barn och unga i samarbete mellan skola, bibliotek och bokhandel.


Read also Hard Rain Nr 25, "Alarming statistics on book reading" (2007)

Hard Rain    No 44    November 20, 2023
Book talk with Ulla
Ulla and her friends early understood that one must give the school class visits a nice content. So they invited them to book talk. Only demonstrating the library did not in itself promote reading.
The significance of literature and reading for the verbal and personal progress of young people can not be emphasized enough. To promote reading requires both engagement and knowledge. There are many ways to contribute to this work and all cretive powers together can make a difference. Teachers and librarians have key roles.

Ulla Rnstrm (1940 - 2023) was one of those clever and dedicated children's librarians who took reading promotion to new levels in the 1970s. Always with an eye for children.

Ulla and her friends early understood that one must give the school class' visits a nice content. So they invited them to book talk. Only demonstrating the library did not in itself promote reading.

The main focus in book talk was in telling stories and conveying personal reading experiences. Book talk was also a way to introduce new books that students and teachers didn't know before.

Through the book talks you could give 20-25 children at a time a common adventure and qualfied book knowledge. If the class could come 4-5 times the effect could be very good. That also meant that a lot more titles than Harry Potter would reach an audience.

Some favorites in Ulla's own, well used,
book talk library.

Many teachers and children loved book talk. Publishers and writers were not overly enthusiastic. It was hard for them to appreciate other books than their own. Book publishers often find it hard to understand that children's librarians are the real experts on children's literature.
  Librarians are the professionals who actually make the publication of new and old books known. "Who awakes the joy of reading if the librarians neither can nor wants to do it?" Ulla asked in her straightforward way.

"The work is so stimulating that you can manage more than you think" Ulla wrote when she was working at the Tensta library. "In practice there is 1-2 book talks a week per librarian. Every talk must be well prepared. One must know the books and all the time learn new ones."

In Tensta three librarians worked tight with the school and it was possible to invite all classes in grade 4. It showed without a doubt that class visits with book talk was an excellent means to stimulate the children, their reading ability and interest in books. "If we can help to give them the joy of reading, it is a gift that lasts the whole life through."

But reading promotion for the young must not be ephemeral. For a long time the big problem has been to find procedures and resources for lasting and continuous efforts to arouse the lust and joy of reading.

The daily reading among youth took a steep dive during the 2010s. In 2012 20% in the 13-16 age group read books and newspapers every day. In 2020 the number was down to 7%. But where were the lasting efforts? When will libraries get the needed resources?

The answer: a new national superproject! By order of the Government the Swedish Arts Council in 2021-2023 carries out, with rather big resources, a reading promotion lift for personnel in the municipal libraries.

"The lift" is supposed to raise the competence in literature and reading promotion, with special focus on the reading of children and young people. Initially it's all about projects where different municipalities and regions apply for Government grants to do the job.

Ulla sighs and returns to book talk with her happy school children. Maybe she glances a little towards the final report from the reading promotion lift wanted by the Ministry of Culture in March 2024.