The very first reading campaign in Denmark took place in 1956, writes Anette Oesters in her book Childrens Reading – Denmark, Sweden, Norway.
The general dislike for comic books advance into the children’s room, introduced “The children’s book week”, a true propaganda as it was described in the info materials. The focus was on reading, not on what was being read. “Children’s book week” was held every fifth year till 1971 when it grew into a Children and youth literature festival.
In 1993, “Read aloud festival” took place with the purpose of raising media attention for children’s reading, though with more a relaxed attitude toward comic books. The similarity between all the initiatives was the focus on reading, not books.
A new Danish initiative from 2011 is Ordet Fanger, parents and friends reading to children, with the smart aim to bring 25% increase in book sales and library loans. The book should enter the youth Top ten list, believe print houses, writers, supermarkets and libraries that support the project. The initiative gets a huge social media coverage.
A week ago, I talked with Justine Toms from Az-deteto.bg in Bulgaria, a true edupreneur and person behind the very first summer reading online diary. Summer reading held two intro seminars hosted by the children section of the public library in Sofia and Varna. In ten days, the Library in Plovdiv will welcome Justine’s team of ambassadors of reading. The innovation behind the aim to secure book donations in times of budget cuts is the digital reading profile. More than 500 Bulgarian children from all around the country have already registered and began filling in their impressions from their books of choice. The project site hosts video interviews with favorite Bulgarian children writers.
I draw a parallel with the kingdom of Denmark’s organized model of state engagement to point out what cooperation between the different stakeholders could produce. The Danish school library model and experience with children reading events through the years can be used as a benchmark by the representative of Bulgarian library and information association appointed to participate in the working group for creating the new state standards for the school library in Bulgaria.
I believe that the future of education is the future of libraries. Based, of course, on my own experience. I got my first library card when I was 3.