School libraries become statutory in Sweden today

29 06 2011

According to a recent message posted on IASL-Link, “from to-day the new School Legislation or law- as it was expressed by speaker- is valid. One of the things on the list is that all pupils have a right to a school library.”

“Swedish and international research suggests that school libraries have a positive impact on student achievement and literacy skills. School libraries staffed by qualified library staff, large and diverse media portfolio and a well-developed cooperation between librarians and teachers, further contribute to increasing students’ motivation to learn and read. A good school library shows!” from the Swedish School Library Group   (The National School Library group was formed in the mid-1990s, and the initiative came from Swedish Writers’ Union.)

Challenges for the Swedish government:

  • Improve school quality and results
  • Ensure equality between schools
  • Diminish the digital divide
  • Define the school library concept
  • Compile reliable statistics
  • Follow up the school legislation
  • Stimulate school and school library development
  • Improve/Review education for librarians

from Anette Holmqvist’s Today and Tomorrow: The Swedish school libraries in a national perspective and context

Sound familiar? The Australian government must not lag behind. Well done to our colleagues and writers in Sweden!