Monthly Archives: October 2015

LGBTQ at Malmö City Library






Malmö City Library is Sweden first big city library to become LGBTQ certified. More than 125 employees receive training in new mindsets and skills for meetings with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. The training, that is carried out by RFSL (the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights) will be completed in November 2015.



Working with LGBTQ issues in libraries is to stand up for all people’s equal rights and in various ways work with the concrete meaning of this in our daily lives. The aim of this is an open and inclusive library environment. During this training we who work at Malmö City Library learn more about LGBTQ (Lesbian/ Gay/ Bi/ Transgender/ Queer) issues and deepen our knowledge of literature and films in this area as well. The aim is a better meeting with all people of Malmö.

”We work actively for everybody’s right to their own expression beyond the standards.”
For each individual, this means two and a half days of training. Alongside this training, we work with LGBTQ issues in everything from policy documents to marketing.



With regard to practical library work, this entails, among other things, improving our ability to find literature with LGBTQ content and make visible to the visitor where this literature is located, for example by creating rainbow shelves.


On October 12–18, an LGBTQ week was organised at Malmö City Library, with, among other things, a book and comics fair that focussed on LGBTQ.  A game designer told us about queer games and a conversation took place between Malmö’s Free City Author and LGBTQ activist Jude Dibia, Cihan Arikan from RFSL Newcomer Malmö and Jay Seipel from Malmö mot Diskriminering (Malmö Against Discrimination).

Lighting the Way: Libraries and Wellbeing

Winners of PMLG's Annual Awards

Winners of PMLG’s Annual Awards

Papers from CILIP’s Public and Mobile Libraries Group Conference Lighting the Way: Libraries and Wellbeing are now available on their website. Held in Staffordshire on 9-10 October there were a range of presentations and workshops exploring the health, social and economic aspects of our contribution to a better and stronger society.

The Conference was also an opportunity to recognise Library professionals. Congratulations to:

  • The Public Librarian of the Year, Russell Allen from West Sussex
  • The Public Library Champion of the Year, Annie Brierley from Devon
  • The Mobile Library Champion of the Year, John MacNab from Essex
North Yorkshire's Mobile Library

North Yorkshire’s Mobile Library

Mobile Libraries were also celebrated. Congratulations  to Essex Libraries (State of the Art Award) , Renfrewshire Libraries (Delegate’s Choice Award) , Sandwell Libraries  ( President’s Shield for Best Small Van ) and North Yorkshire ( Best Vehicle Livery Award )




Photo exhibition “Terra mia” and Charity


Our colleague, Natia Merlino from Italy has sent this story about a great initiative the  Municipal Library Nicola Pitta has undertaken to support the children of Africa. This too demonstrates how libraries are making a difference in our world.

The City of Apricena, the Department of Culture, and the Library “Nicola Pitta”, with the sponsorship of the National Park of Gargano , promoted the photographic exhibition “Terra mia” The exhibition is part of the “Photo book” project of traveling exhibitions in order to reinforce the concept of existing inter-library cooperation, resource sharing, and other initiatives.

The exhibition “Terra mia” was hosted in the lobby of the Palace of Culture in the months of August 2014. The Municipal Library “Nicola Pitta”, for this event, was on hand to fund studies on the subject with the “Park in Library”, donated by the National Park of Gargano.

At the conclusion of the exhibition photos were bought in charity and the proceeds were used to purchase educational materials and clothing for children in Africa. The material will be delivered personally at the  end December 2015.


L’Amministrazione Comunale di Apricena, l’Assessorato alla Cultura e la Biblioteca “Nicola Pitta”, con il patrocinio dell’Ente Parco Nazionale del Gargano (presieduto dall’Avv. Stefano Pecorella), hanno promosso la Mostra fotografica «Terra mia» dell’Associazione “fotografando”.
L’Associazione è composta da Nazario Cruciano, Claudio Del Fuoco, Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, Antonello Ferrazzano,  Michele La Monaca, Antonella Pia Merla, Natia Merlino, Bartolomeo Perrotta).

La Mostra rientra nel Progetto “Fotolibro” e nel Progetto di Mostre itineranti-tematiche all’interno delle Biblioteche afferenti ad un unico Polo, così da rafforzare il concetto di Cooperazione inter-bibliotecaria, la condivisione delle risorse, dei progetti e delle iniziative, già valido con la procedura della Catalogazione partecipata.

La Mostra «Terra mia» è stata ospitata nell’atrio del Palazzo della Cultura nei mesi di Agosto 2014.

La Biblioteca Comunale “Nicola Pitta”, per tale manifestazione, è stata a disposizione per studi sull’argomento con il Fondo “Il Parco in Biblioteca”, donato dall’Ente Parco Nazionale del Gargano.

A conclusione della Mostra le foto sono state comprate in beneficenza e il ricavato è stato interamente utilizzato per l’acquisto di materiale didattico ed indumenti per bambini dell’Africa. Il materiale sarà consegnato personalmente a fine dicembre 2015.


Trouble and unrest in Swedish libraries






Trouble and unrest at the libraries, quiet libraries, or libraries for conversations and events?

The debate has been heated in Sweden recently and fuel has been added to this debate by the Union for Academics, DIK, which has released an interim report about the library staff’s working environment.

During the summer, DIK asked its library members about unrest, disorder and aggressive behaviour exhibited by visitors, as well as offensive or humiliating attacks. More than 1,800 people, which is a third of the member group, took part in the survey. The report shows that there are major working environmental problems at Swedish libraries; in some places the situation is unsustainable. The problems more prevalent among public libraries and school libraries, but also occur at research libraries and hospital libraries. The problem exists all over the country, both in urban and rural areas.

Respondents at public libraries and school libraries are experiencing an increased level of unrest and disorder. They indicate that the main reason for this increase is a rise in unemployment and social exclusion. Other reasons that have been mentioned are activities for the mentally ill that have been discontinued, decommissioned recreation centres and increased drug availability.

The report has, among other things, led the Swedish Library Association, via its chairman Calle Nathansson and Secretary General Niclas Lindberg, to write a petition in which they underline how important it is that the library is a secure place for staff and visitors alike.  They also suggest that a handbook be developed to assist the library staff.

DIK now also requests that all the members’ experiences are classified as occupational health problems and that all libraries have a functioning incident reporting. Karin Linder, Chairman of the DIK association, has spoken out in the media and stresses how important it is that the employers take responsibility at a local level so that discussions between employers and employees are initiated in the work places.
The report from DIK it titled “We are Librarians, not Psychologists or Social Workers” from a quote by a librarian who took part in the survey.

Responding! Public Libraries and Refugees


Libraries throughout the world have a strong history of responding to natural disasters and humanitarian crises providing a welcoming environment, a place of refuge for body and soul, and a source of information.

As we have watched the refugee crisis unfold in Europe we have been flooded with examples of how public libraries have responded in practical and heartfelt ways.

Members of IFLA’s Public Libraries Standing Committee and their colleagues have joined together to collect some of these examples and stories. The resulting document is not meant to be exhaustive but is more of a starting point for shared experience and inspiration and demonstrates the power of libraries to make a difference in people’s lives.

If you would like to share your story we would love to hear from you.

‘Reading Holiday’ in Sweden






The result of the PISA survey 2012, published in 2013, was a real wake up call for Sweden, as it revealed that Swedish pupils performed significantly worse than students in other OECD countries in terms of literacy.  As a reaction to this negative result, a number of reading promotion projects started, focussing on children’s reading and reading comprehension ability.

The latest project, Läslov (Reading Holiday), was launched during the Gothenburg Book and Library Fair at the end of September this year, when the Minister for Culture, Alice Bah Kuhnke, as well as the Minister for Education, Gustaf Fridolin, participated.

Läslov is about turning the autumn break, the old potato and harvest holiday, which occurs in week 44, October 26-30, each year, into a week of reading activities, where the output of the venture is, instead of rich potato and cereal harvests like in the old days, increased literacy and knowledge.

Läslov is run by the non-profit organisation Läsrörelsen, which has both individual and institutional members at all levels of society.
During Läslovet, school-aged children will be invited to take part in reading activities in the municipalities. The goal is to get Läslovet v44 added into the Swedish curriculum in 2016.