The package from our sister library in Gislaved, Sweden arrived on the morning of the Pippi Longstocking 70th Birthday celebration – it was like Christmas all over again! We were delighted to discover Pippi bookmarks and special red, wooden 50th anniversary yo-yos.
When I visited the Gislaved Bibliothek in June of 2015, I heard some of their plans for their Pippi Longstocking celebration. I hoped to replicate some of their activities for the children in Westerville, Ohio. Over the years of our sister library collaboration, one thing we had done is to have similar events – exchanging ideas, patterns for crafts, and display ideas – in both locations. As Pippi Longstocking is a character known by all Swedish children, an integral part of the culture, I wanted more children in Westerville to also know of Pippi. And what better occasion than a birthday?
Around 50 children and their families attended the birthday celebration, held on a wintry late December afternoon during the schools’ Christmas break. After showing the first few minutes of the movie, I read a chapter from the book in which Pippi becomes a Thing-finder.
“The whole world is full of things and somebody has to look for them. And that’s just what a Thing-finder does.” – Pippi Longstocking
One of the activities later was for all the children to become Thing-finders too. Other activities included
playing “Don’t Step on the Floor,” making Swedish paper stars, a photo opportunity to “Dress Like Pippi” and pepparkakor cookies for refreshments.
The librarians and staff of the Westerville Public Library look forward to more exchanges with the library staff in Gislaved in the years to come!
Robin Gibson, Youth Services Librarian, Westerville Public Library, Westerville Ohio USA
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We are a library organization in Gislaved kommun, a municipality in Sweden. Our organization consists of one main library, 6 smaller ones and one library bus. Some of our smaller libraries are combined public and school libraries.
A few years ago we became a part of the IFLA Sister Libraries. We were paired with Westerville Public Library Ohio, USA. Our hope was to get some international perspective and input in our daily work.
It has been very interesting for us to be a part of this. There is a historical connection between Sweden and the USA because a lot of people migrated to the States during the 19th century and specifically from the region where Gislaved is situated. We live in a rural area and when it comes to library service we think that we share some things but differ in others. To read about Westerville and to hear about what they are doing makes us think about our own work in a different way. Sometimes it’s “Are they doing that…..they are so far ahead” and sometimes it’s more “They are doing it too…we must be on the right track”.
Over the years we have sent postcards, shared exhibitions, tips and more. This year was the 70th birthday of Astrid Lindgren’s children’s books character Pippi Långstrump or Pippi Longstocking as she is known in the English speaking World. We had a big party here at the library and we know that Westerville was quite inspired by this. We hope too se some pictures from that party soon!
This summer Robin Gibson, youth librarian at the Westerville public library, came and visited us! She made a tour around some of our smaller libraries in Hestra and Anderstorp apart from visiting the main library in Gislaved. It was fun to finally meet and we dream of someday see the public library in Westerville for real and not just by taking the virtual tour!
This Christmas Westerville won’t be getting just a postcard but hopefully a package. Well, if it ever gets through the customs! This blogpost is a sort of public postcard from us to the staff of Westerville Library and a little story of our cooperation as well. Of course we can’t reveal the content of the Christmas gift, but maybe Westerville can do that themselves….: )
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
From the staff at the public library organization of Gislaved
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Instituto Highlands Pedregal from Mexico City is the freshest participant of the programme. Library seeks Sister Libraries in order to learn form other’s experiences and states that
for students, the library is a bridge to connect Mexico with other parts of the world.
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Two new Sister Libraries programme participants!
Cedar Creek Elementary School from Texas, US would like to
expand the world views of their pupils
Also from US, Florida-based Riverhills Elementary School for International Studies is especially looking for a Spanish speaking Sister Library, as
We are school focused on international studies. Our school language program is Spanish. We would like to share resources, experiences, and ideas with another country to gain insight about the World Around Us.
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Welcome new Sister Library participant: Penza Regional Library for Children and Young Adults
We want to learn the experience of other libraries from different countries, to find interesting ideas and methods of working with our readers. And of course we are ready to show you the activities of our library. Together we could help children and young adults find educational and entertaining foreign books, needed information and even new friends. Also we could organize and hold library events on different topics (nature, culture, history and etc.) with famous people of our cities. We could virtual travel through the cities and regions of each other.
Nadeshda from Penza writes about her library:
The Penza regional library for children and young adults is a modern center of reading, information, creativity and entertainment for children and teenagers. The Penza regional library for children and young adults was founded in 2005 by the merger of the regional children’s library (1956) and the regional youth library (1977).
Being the heiress and the guardian of their best traditions, our library develops new forms and methods of the work, integrates it into the General cultural context in the form of innovative projects.
The universal librarian fund consists of more than 193 thousand books, 6000 CD’s and audio-visual materials, 3 thousand electronic publications, 396 names of periodicals. Each year the fund is replenished on the average 3 thousand new receipts.
The library serves more than 33 thousand users. They are given over 974000 documents.
Every year the library organizes more than 470 books and illustrations, art and decorative art exhibitions. It organizes and holds about 750 mass events on different topics. There are 4 clubs in the library: family club «Alive spring», musical club «Accord», club of the studying regional history «Spark», club of the decorated art «Work for hands – joy for heart». The library is fully computerized and connected to the Internet.
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During August and September two new libraries registrated to Sister Libraries programme.
Mill Park Library from Victoria, Australia would like to
share resources, exchange information and ideas, develop partnerships, learn what programs that are running in other countries and to enrich our library’s cultural experience.
Penza Regional library for children and young adults, from Russia is looking for
learning from the experience of other libraries from different countries, to find interesting ideas and methods of working with our readers. And of course we are ready to show you the activities of our library. Together we could help children and young adults find educational and entertaining foreign books, needed information and even new friends. Also we could organize and hold library events on different topics (nature, culture, history and etc.) with famous people of our cities. We could virtual travel through the cities and regions of each other.
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New participants in Sister Libraries programme!
Central library named after L. Sobolev, St. Petersburg Russia is looking forward
exchanging experience in attracting children and young adults to the library.
We greet also Biblioteca Comunale Giorgio Bassani in Ferrara, Italy.
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