A library with children’s book from all the Nordic countries is opening at Southbank Centre as part of Imagine Festival. It is created after the Swedish concept Rum för barn, Room for Children. Princess Madeleine of Sweden inaugurated the library on 14 February 2017.
Originally situated at Kulturhuset/Stadsteatern in Stockholm, the concept is aimed at children aged zero to ten years old and their grown-ups and is designed to stimulate the desire for books, music, storytelling and self-expression. The concept focuses on the childrens perspective and pushes the boundaries of what a library can be, which is reflected in everything from interior design to the way books are placed and displayed.
Adults and children are encouraged to engage in things together in order to share the experience. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is a cornerstone of the work here; it refers to the right of children to participate fully in cultural life, to express themselves freely and to do so together with others.
Room for Children is a concept developed by the Swedish Institute and Kulturhuset/Stadsteatern Stockholm, and has been built together with the Poetry Library and Embassy of Sweden in London, with the assistance of the Nordic Embassies and Representations in London, UK and Swedish publishers as well as Ikea. It is part of Imagine Children’s Festival and Nordic Matters; a year-long festival of Nordic art and culture in 2017, featuring music and dance, theatre and visual arts, participation, talks and debates, and gastronomy. The library will be open throughout 2017.
The project began in 2015 and Rooms for children have been built together with Swedish embassies and local partners in Washington, Berlin, Istanbul and Vilnius.