Collaboration for school library legislation and school library development in Sweden

HELL, Maud (2014) Collaboration for school library legislation and school library development in Sweden. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 213 - School Libraries. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Collaboration for school library legislation and school library development in Sweden

The importance of school libraries in Sweden has varied. For a long time, they were mentioned in the Library Act, but they were not mandatory. Over the last decade, important stakeholders collaborated in the effort to change the legislation. In 2011, the Swedish Education Act made access to school libraries mandatory for all types of schools. Advocacy engagement led to this change in legislation. Advocacy is still needed, for defining development and refining the legislation. The Education Act is a ground to build on. Many different strategies for advocacy action are on the agenda. One network stands out, maybe unique in its structure, with stakeholders interested in school library development: the National School Library Group, founded in the 1990s. This network and lobby group selects the Swedish School Library of the Year, publishes leaflets, organizes conferences and is an important reference group for policy and law. The group consists of more than 20 associations, some of them being NGOs, trade unions, regional associations, as well as the Swedish Library Association. Government departments are also represented and lately the National Library. The National Schools Inspectorate controls the standards for schools, and it plays an important role in implementing the new legislation. New to Sweden is that recently some schools have not been allowed to start because of the lack of an adequate plan for school libraries. The Swedish National Agency of Education and many other stakeholders engage in developing school libraries. Universities are planning school library education suited for librarians and teachers. Municipal and/or regional coordinators of school libraries help with advocating for and enhancing the quality of school libraries. The time has come now to take on the responsibility of meeting the requirements of the 2011 law.

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