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Malmö to open Sweden’s first Roma library

Malmö to open Sweden’s first Roma library

The facility will welcome visitors from the autumn of 2022

The City of Malmo has taken another step towards affirming its reputation as a haven for multiculturalism with the announcement that it will open the first Roma library in Sweden. The new facility, which will introduce readers to the world of Roma literature and cultural production, is set to open doors one year from now.

Literature in various Roma dialects

In Malmö and other libraries in Sweden, there are already several Roma reading sections, but a full-scale library with Roma literature will be the first of its kind in the country.

The library will contain literature in various Roma dialects, literature written by Roma authors and books in Swedish about their culture. The literature will be acquired in consultation with individuals and organizations with expertise in Roma cultural issues.

In Malmö, we go against the flow and invest in library activities because we know that they are of great importance to promote reading, especially among children and young people, and the democratic society,” explained Frida Trollmyr (S), municipal councillor with responsibility for culture and leisure.

She added: “I am proud that we are planning to open the country's first Roma library, it is a unique opportunity to work for Roma rights and contribute to increased knowledge about Roma culture and history.”

The Roma people first arrived in the Scandinavian country some 500 years ago and since then have become part of its society. The Council of Europe estimates that approximately 42,500 Roma live in Sweden (0.46% of the total population).

Sweden has produced a strategy for Roma inclusion that covers 20 years (2012 to 2032). The overall objective is that a Roma person aged 20 should have the same opportunities in life as a non-Roma person by 2032.

The strategy complements general policies towards disadvantaged groups. It covers the four key areas (education, employment, health and housing) and two additional areas: culture/language and civil society (empowerment). The responsibility for the strategy’s implementation rests largely with local and regional authorities.

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