Monthly Archives: March 2014

IFLA/IASL Joint Committee Report

The Standing Committee of the IFLA School Libraries Section is holding its annual mid term meeting in London, UK April 7-8, 2014 at the Bloomsbury headquarters of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). The focus of the meeting will be work on the revision of the 2002 IFLA/UNESCO School Library Guidelines. Tricia Adams, Director, School Library Association, will be hosting the meeting and has arranged for the members of the Standing Committee to travel to Oxford for a one-day School Libraries Association professional development workshop on April 9th at Oxford University Press (CPD@OUP

Joint Book Proposal Approved
The Professional Committee of IFLA has approved a new school libraries book (hard on the heels of Global Perspectives on School Libraries: Projects and Practices). This will be a joint project of IASL and IFLA School Libraries with the Joint Committee once again acting as an advisory committee to the project. The working title of the new book is School Library Guidelines: Global Action. It will be co-edited by Dianne Oberg (Canada) and Barbara Schultz-Jones (USA). The call for chapters will go out in June, with proposals due in October and full chapters due in November.

Just published in Collaboration in International and Comparative Librarianship
Marquardt, L., & Oberg, D. (2014). Collaboration in editorship: “Global Perspectives on School Libraries.” In S. Chakraborty & A. K. Das, A. K., Collaboration in international and comparative librarianship (pp. 126-136). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4365-9
This chapter, in an IGI Global publication edited by Susmita Chakraborty (University of Calcutta, India) and Anup Kumar Das (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India), describes the process of collaborative editing that resulted in the DeGruyter Saur book, Global perspectives on school libraries: Projects and practices (2011), which was a joint project of IASL and the IFLA School Libraries Section.

Dianne Oberg
Chair, Joint Committee of IASL/IFLA School Libraries
Secretary, IFLA School Libraries Standing Committee

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Barbro Lindgren, born in 1937, is a Swedish author of innovative and multifaceted works for children of all ages. Her body of work includes picture books, poetry, plays, and books for young adults. Since her debut as an author in 1965, she has published over a hundred titles, and her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. The Jury’s Citation reads: Barbro Lindgren is a literary pioneer. Using adventurous language and rich psychological nuance, she has re-invented not only the picture book for the very young but also the absurd prose story, the existential children’s poem, and realistic fiction for young adults. With perfect pitch, she presents to us both playful shenanigans and moments of bright joy, and the inscrutable nature of life and the nearness of death.

Barbro Lindgren’s stories are often humorous and always possess a uniquely warm tone of voice that speaks directly to the child, whether she is offering amusing escapades or more serious reflections. She has a singular capacity to remember and convey what it was like to be a child, and her seemingly simple style recreates atmospheres and moods that resonate with all her readers, regardless of their age.

Barbro Lindgren has an education in the arts and illustrated several of her own books, including her first book, Mattias sommar (Mattias’ summer, 1965), and the absurd tale of Loranga, Masarin och Dartanjang (1969), about a world where anything can happen. Sagan om den lilla farbrorn (The Story of the Little Old Man, 1979) marked the beginning of a long-lived co-operation with the illustrator Eva Eriksson. Their greatest success came with their series of picture books about little Max and the everyday adventures in the life of a small child. Meanwhile, in Mamman och den vilda bebin (The Wild Baby, 1980) a baby has adventures that are anything but ordinary.

More realistic works include the autobiographical series of books in diary form, Jättehemligt, Världshemligt and Bladen brinner (Big Secret, Top secret, Pages on fire, 1971-73). Here, the author portrays a young girl’s encounter with love and her existen-tial reflections about life. Death seems always close at hand, a theme we see again in the series about Sparvel (1976-79), which depicts the author’s life from age four until she starts school. Reflections on the meaning of life also appear in the fiercely original chapter books Vems lilla mössa flyger (Whose little hat is flying, 1987), Korken flyger (The cork is flying, 1990), and Vad lever man för (What-Are-We-Living-For, 2006), where worn-out stuffed animals are among the unusual cast of characters. Here, Barbro Lindgren finds humor even in a funeral, and refilling the stuffing of a toy elephant can bring it back from the dead.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) will be presented in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on June 2, 2014.

More information
Helene Andersson, Communication Officer
Phone: +46 (0)76 540 10 17

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature. The UN convention of rights of the child is the foundation of our work. An expert jury selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.

Multicultural children’s collections

Below are several ways of providing multicultural, multilingual collections to children and young people:

1. “Unite for Literacy”
Their mission is as follows:
“Book Abundance is Our Vision: We picture Book Abundance where all children have access to plenty of books that celebrate their cultures and honor their home languages. We see a world where all children grow up learning the joy of reading. Our vision inspires our work. The impact will be infinite, wondrous and global in scale.
Picture Books are What We Do: We create Picture Book abundance by sharing our library with emerging readers everywhere. We provide BIG time abundance.abundant access. abundant languages.abundant books.”

2. Please note that the IFLA Section Libraries for Children and Young Adults has its own Facebook page, which focuses on the development of library services for children and young adults
all around the world.

3. The newly launched Australian Children’s Poetry website focuses on (English) poetry for children . This is a wonderful site. There is a poem for each day, which teachers can read to their classes. It also provides detailed information about different Australian poets who write for
children. You can join the blog free of charge. Today it published a list of children’s poetry sites in the UK and the USA.

Does your country have special websites which are devoted to children’s poetry? If so, please contact Helen Boelens (

Teachers and Common Core on Literacy

A new report released by the National Center for Literacy Education reveals that educators across the US feel ill-prepared to help their students achieve the new Common Core State Standards in literacy. The report, Remodeling Literacy Learning Together: Paths to Standards Implementation, investigates the extent to which the professional expertise of educators working together is driving standards implementation. AASL members helped provide the data used in creating this report.

UNESCO global education inequities report

According to a report by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), titled Education for All Global Monitoring Report, over 15 million young girls out of school are never expected to enroll for classes.

These figures have stirred a number of concerns over gender imbalance in global education, as the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) got underway.

“There are serious setbacks,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, “which will affect all sustainable efforts for development to the international community.”

The gender disparity in education is “unacceptable,” said Bokova. As stated in the report, “If recent trends in the region continue, the richest boy will gain universal primary completion in 2021, while the poorest girl will not be able to catch up until 2086.”

Such slow pace in developing education equality is largely resulted from two factors: war and poverty.

Qatar Information Literacy Network meeting

The next meeting of the Qatar chapter of the Information Literacy Network of the Gulf will be held March 20 from 12:30-1:30 at the Museum of Islamic Art Library.  Their organization has seen some recent successes, particularly their instructional workshops in Qatar and Muscat, Oman, at which they shared their experiences with technology with fellow information literacy professionals.  At this meeting they willtcelebrate, reflect on their experiences, and plan their future direction, including their work with the Special Library Association.

Important!  Please email Susan Parker-Leavy ( if you plan to attend, so that she can add you to the access list at the security points.

UNESCO literacy policy briefs

Two new policy publications from UNESCO:

UIL Policy Brief 3 Gender equality matters: Empowering women through literacy programmes, offers research-informed analysis and action-oriented recommendations for local and national governments, providers of literacy programmes and educators on how to reduce the gender gap in adult literacy.

 UIL Policy Brief 4 Community Matters: Fulfilling Learning Potentials for Young Men and Women describes features of community learning centres. Furthermore, it illustrates how community learning centers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom engage young men and women in the planning and implementation processes.

For more information please visit  Literacy and Basic Skills.