Pimlico Library recently hosted a visit from a group of Swedish librarians from Stockholm Public Library, representing one of the 20 inner Stockholm public libraries, who have been all over the country visiting libraries in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. They are now making their way around London, including a visit to the British Library. They needed a typical public library in London to complete their picture of what the capital has to offer and chose Pimlico Library for its central location and diverse community setting.
The librarians were particularly interested in the work that libraries do with children, schools and families and how this operates on a local level, so Aitor and I spoke to them about the Bookstart scheme, the Summer Reading Challenge, class visits and Homework Clubs, among other things. We were keen to compare our practices with what they do at a local level in Stockholm and we saw many parallels, as well as some new and interesting ideas. As an example, every child born in the Swedish capital gets to join their local library through their heath visitor’s involvement.
It was a very focused visit and it was helpful to refocus and see our job from a detached point of view. Even better, Pimlico Library staff have an open invitation to visit Stockholm library!