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A girl reading an e-book on a tablet

Finland launches digital book collection to spark children’s interest in literature

Finland launches digital book collection to spark children’s interest in literature

From 9 July, children’s books will become more easily accessible

In recent years, children and young people have turned away from literature and reading for pleasure. Instead, they have taken up smart devices, watching movies and playing games on computers and tablets. In an attempt to spark their interest in literature, Finland will now launch a collection of audio and e-books for children and young people on an online nationwide platform.

Younger audiences have thus far been ignored

While it is true that one can find a large variety of books online, it must be noted that the majority of literature targets adults. Seeing that children have so far lacked sufficient materials and that those which are available are often difficult to find, Finland has taken measures to ensure that there is a new and accessible way to discover new books.

More specifically, a digital collection of 95 titles will be made available on Friday 9 July via the Ellibs platform. The audio and e-books will be available in both Finnish and Swedish. What is more, the collection has been carefully selected by library professionals specialising in children and young people’s literature.  

Promoting the development of literacy

Designer Marja Hjelt from the Public Libraries Consortium commented on the digital collection in a press release by the City of Helsinki, noting: “Reading for children and young people has declined, possibly due to the impact of digital devices, and now we want to help children and young people make digital literature a natural part of their daily lives.

The new collection will improve the discoverability and ease of use of digital content in libraries – and also increase their volume. It is also of paramount importance that everyone now has equal access to one and the same collection.”

According to the City of Helsinki, the digital collection is a two-year project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture with the aim of promoting the development of literacy. With the creation and launch of the 95 titles, it is hoped that more children and young people will take up reading.

Taking this further, it must be noted that the platform will facilitate the lives of students as they will no longer have to wait for classmates to return books they need. Now, everyone will have access to all the necessary literature at any given time.

The Ellibs platform can be downloaded for free on iOS, Android, and Huawei devices. Alternatively, it can be found online at www.ellibslibrary.com.  

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