Public libraries, literary art activities and social inclusion

KLEEMOLA, Hanna (2019) Public libraries, literary art activities and social inclusion. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 156 - Environment, Sustainability and Libraries.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2564
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Public libraries, literary art activities and social inclusion

This paper focuses on literary art activities in public libraries. The aim is to stimulate discussion on how literary art activities can promote socially sustainable development, a sense of community, and social inclusion. In Finland, public libraries organise low-threshold literary art activities that encourage both written and verbal expression, e.g. literary art clubs, rap and comics workshops, and creative writing groups. Literary art activities provide opportunities for the improvement of literacy, self-expression and social readiness, and the strengthening of self-esteem and identity. Moreover, they can promote community spirit. Libraries respond to current societal challenges and the needs of special groups by tailoring activities for immigrants, people requiring special assistance, and people at risk of social exclusion. For the promotion of social goals, it is important that libraries reach out to people who are not active library users. Finally, the paper presents an ongoing doctoral research on literary art activities in Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic public libraries. The hypothesis of the research is that literary art activities in public libraries prevent social exclusion and promote social inclusion equality, and well-being.

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