Three members reserve against the reading report

The importance of staffed school libraries has been discussed at all of the Reading Council’s meetings, says Ingela Korsell, author and teacher who also taught at the teacher training course.

Too carefully

Together with Eric Haraldsson, school librarian in Växjö, and Elin Nord, university librarian in Gothenburg, she chose to reserve herself against the Reading Council’s recommendations. The report’s wording is too cautious and does not correspond to everything discussed during the Reading Council’s meetings, she believes. The three also wanted a clear position for school libraries.

— You have to prioritize and staffed school libraries are at the top of the list of measures to promote reading. It is a concrete recommendation that is easy to communicate and which, according to research, would make a decisive difference. The issue is also investigated, there is a great investigation with concrete proposals – it is almost starting to collect dust at this point, she says and wonders why nothing is happening.

— You probably think it’s too expensive, but I turn it around instead: it’s too expensive not to implement it!

“That you no longer link gang crime to measures like this – it would be much cheaper to invest in this,” says Ingela Korsell, who wanted stronger writing about the importance of staffed school libraries.

Staffed school libraries for all were proposed in Gustav Fridolin’s investigation, which was handed over to the then Minister of Education Anna Ekström (S) as early as 2021. The staffed school libraries should be enshrined in the School Act, suggests the investigation, which was also out for referral.

Not taken a stand

However, neither the previous government nor the current one has yet taken a position on the inquiry’s proposal, whose cost in 2021 was estimated at approximately SEK 500 million.

Half a year after Fridolin’s investigation, then Culture Minister Amanda Lind (MP) presented the new initiative Läsrådet at the Book Fair in Gothenburg. The council is supposed to work for children and young people’s reading, and was established as an advisory body under the Culture Council. The chairman was Kajsa Ravin, director general at the Culture Council, but the other members come from school, the research community and the field of literature.

Ingela Korsell is disappointed that the Reading Council did not become the independent actor that was envisioned at an earlier stage. The report “Current state of children’s and young people’s reading” which has now been submitted to the government is instead that of the Cultural Council, produced “with the support of the Reading Council”.

“It’s an emergency”

However, the report does not take a position in favor of the Reading Council’s proposal on what needs to be done, emphasizes Ingela Korsell.

According to her, school libraries are the arena where politics can reach everyone.

– It’s an emergency! We are creating parallel societies. That you don’t link gang crime more to measures like this – it would be much cheaper to invest in this, she says.

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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