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Making Room for Children, Swedish-style


What springs to mind when you think about Sweden? Ikea, of course, and Pippi Longstocking; perhaps the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Children’s Literature. Would you think about libraries? Ferelith Hordon thinks we should.


This year the Southbank in London has a focus on the Nordic countries. The Moomintroll exhibition has been part of it. Moomins, of course, come from Finland. However, take the singing lift to level 5 and there, outside the Saison Poetry Library all the way from Sweden, is a small, but perfectly formed children’s library where children can relax in their own specially created ‘pods’ or ‘huts’ to read, draw, or just be. I met Ellen Wettmark from the Swedish Embassy and Emma Langley from the Arts Council to find out more about it.


Room for Children – Rum för Barn – is on the fourth floor of the Kulturhuset in Stockholm. Like the Southbank itself, Kulturhuset is a lively space where a wide range of cultural activities take place – an ideal centre for a children’s library. It is a large library with, Ellen tells me, with the explicit aim of being very child friendly. It is


16 Books for Keeps No.225 July 2017


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