“Reading diploma” – one way of supporting a native language: library work in person and by digital means in Espoo city library (Finland)

SHKLYAR, Katia (2015) “Reading diploma” – one way of supporting a native language: library work in person and by digital means in Espoo city library (Finland). Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 186 - Library services to Multicultural populations.

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1121
Language: Russian (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


“Reading diploma” – one way of supporting a native language: library work in person and by digital means in Espoo city library (Finland)

There are different reasons for people to move to a foreign country. Children mostly do not choose where their parents take them. In Finland some children and teenagers with non-Finnish background do not speak their native language properly even having both parents speaking it. Having resources in different languages available in the libraries is not enough as it is to support the language skills. Many immigrants, who live in the country for years, do not know that there are materials in their native language available in a public library. As for children, they have to be extra inspired to use their mother tongue, inspired by parents, by teachers, finally by librarians. The biggest immigrant group in Finland are Russian speakers. Author will take this group as an example. An image of Russia is not the most positive now, so children do not want to carry a heavy responsibility to be a native Russian. If they do not get adequate support in the family or school, they might get identity problems and even psychological traumas for the whole life. Library has at least three important functions here: to provide access to resources in different languages – on place and online, to inspire to use them and to build tolerant attitude in others (in our case in other children – classmates and friends, representatives of majority population). “Reading diploma” is a system used in Finland for years now. The idea is simple: children literature experts make lists of recommended reading for different ages and on different subjects. Those who read/listen definite amount of books during the yera get a diploma. There are variations with making some funny tasks based on the book you read. A pilot version of “Reading diploma package” in Russian was developed in 2014. It included lists of books for reading, divided according the age and subjects, 16 literature tasks and a card of participant. While choosing the books, only those available in the public libraries of Helsinki Metropolitan area were taken into consideration. As a base was used a Finnish “Reading diploma” concept. Just having the materials of “Reading diploma”available online is simply not enough. Russian language teaches (all over the country), children hobby clubs working in Russian and active parents are the key figures for the library to cooperate with. The example of others inspires children, they compete with each other while getting the stickers to their participation card, and they come to the library together to search for the books or try to find resources virtually. “Reading diploma” concept can be used in any cultural and language environment, but for success it requires an intense partnership of several institutions. In this paper author want to show one successful example of using library materials (on- and offline) to support native language of the largest minority group on the level of the whole country.

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