When the Swedish School of Library and Information Science was founded in 1972, it was the only one of its kind. Nowhere else in the country could you study to be a librarian at university level. Now there are librarian courses at a handful of higher education institutions, but the Swedish School of Library and Information Science remains unique.
“Our library and information science education and research is the largest in Sweden and is developed through close interaction with the global community around us,” says Ann-Sofie Axelsson, Dean of Faculty.
So it is important to showcase the School’s activities in contexts such as Göteborg Book Fair in order to attract students and researchers and to offer continuing professional development and new approaches.
Decline in reading a hot topic
Of all the programme activities of the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, the seminar on “Literature on borrowed time” attracted by far the largest audience. Skans Kersti Nilsson, Senior Lecturer at the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, participated with research colleagues from Uppsala University in a panel discussion on young people’s lack of interest in reading.
The seminar was about giving literature a more prominent place in secondary education as part of a democratic society. The message comes from a multi-year research project involving 500 young adults.
“The aim was to see how young adults actually interpret literature in real life. We got a clear picture that they want to be taken seriously; they do not want to read young adult literature,” says Skans Kersti Nilsson.
Libraries and education
The expanded professional role of the librarian requires digital knowledge and teaching skills. Which is why it was decided to highlight both research in education, as well as library and information science at Göteborg Book Fair.
Margareta Ljungqvist, Head of the Department of Teacher Education at Borås, sees this as a positive step.
“I noticed a great deal of interest from educationalists in this context. Many of those I met at the stand wondered why we do not have a school librarian course at the University of Borås. It is a relevant question for us to take on board; perhaps it is something we need to consider,” she says.