The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media
The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media (SIKJM) was established in January 2002. It was created through the merger of the Schweizerisches Jugendbuch-Institut (SJI) and the Schweizerischer Bund für Jugendliteratur (SBJ). Its main activities lie in promoting reading as well as research and documentation in the field of child and youth literature. The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media has branches in French-speaking Switzerland and in Ticino. It is supported by grants from the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the State Secretariat for Education and Research.
The Johanna Spyri Foundation is the body responsible for the Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media, and the Johanna Spyri Archive is incorporated into the Johanna Spyri Foundation.
The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media develops projects for promoting reading and implements them throughout Switzerland with the help of cantonal and regional organisations. Projects such as the “Schweizer Erzählnacht” (“Story-telling throughout the night”), “Lesebazillus” (“Reading can be highly infectious”) and “Bücherraupe” (“Book worm”) have become firm favourites among young readers in Switzerland; also worth a mention are new innovative projects such as “Ton ab, Buch auf” (“Box off, books open”) and our book recommendations for children with reading difficulties.
Besides focusing on the historical background, research concentrates on the scientific development of a general basis for promoting reading. The research projects are concerned with, among other things, new media, the perception of pictures and the first steps taken by young children in the reading process.
The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media has a library containing some 50,000 items. These include the picture book collections of Elisabeth Waldmann and Bettina Hürlimann as well as primary and secondary literature going back as far as 1750.
The range of services provided includes consultations, book and media recommendations, seminars as well as basic and advanced training courses for teachers, librarians and any one with a general interest in educational, teaching and cultural matters.
Specialist magazines written in an engaging journalistic style in French, German and Italian present background reports and the latest developments in the field of child and youth literature. The results of research projects and seminars are published as reports. Catalogues documenting our exhibitions are also available.
The Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media organises exhibitions on outstanding personalities in the field of child and youth literature together with their work as well as on historical, current and artistic trends. The Institute also helps national and international committees to find specialists for their juries and awards prizes, such as the Swiss Child and Youth Media Prize.