Tilka Jamnik

Speaking Time and Room No.: 2006-9-21 16:00-18:00 Room I

Speaker: Tilka Jamnik?Slovenia?

Tilka Jamnik, MA (1)


Theme 2: Children´s Literature and the Ideal World


Children´s Literature improves the Literacy of all family members


Let me say a few words about my country Slovenia. It is one of the new European countries covering an area of 20.000 km2 and it has two million inhabitants. It is the former Yugoslav republic which became independent in 1991. Slovenia borders on Austria, Italy, Hungary and Croatia. Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia.

The first written text in Slovenia dates back to the 9th century. Our book production is about 3.000 new titles a year: Slovene authors - 70 per cent, translations - 30 per cent.


Why is family reading fundamental?

Reading children´s literature stimulates children´s general development: lingual, intellectual, imaginative and sentimental. At the same time reading deepens the mutual relations between children and grown-up people reading to them. Reading itself already and particularly reading children’s literature of good quality expressing the essential human values contributes to a better life of the family, of the individuals and the society.

The family reading is very important for the literacy development of children and their sensibility towards literature; it has an influence on learning reading in school and on becoming readers for the whole life.


But stimulating the family reading improves also the literacy of grown-up members of the family (parents and grandparents). Developing the family reading means to improve the literacy of the whole family, that is not only the involvement into enjoyment of the fiction literature, but also long-term improvement of the functional literacy and the capacity for the active citizenship.



of the Slovene children are achieved by:

- Teaching pre-reading in kindergartens: developing the pre-reading skills,

- Teaching reading in school subjects (Curriculum), developing the reading skills,

- Library (library-information skills): accessibility to the books,

- Long-term Motivation for Reading (The Reading Badge, the Slovene movement that encourages children to read and raises their reading culture):

voluntary and free time reading.

They are intertwined, partly covering and completing one another.

And they all stimulate the family reading.


SOME DATA: in Slovenia there are:

- about 300 kindergartens: 63 % of all preschool children are enrolled,

- 650 primary schools; they have a well-organized network of school libraries (every primary school has its own library),

- 62 main public libraries with 240 branch libraries and 11 mobile library services; all together they offer more than 1000 lending and borrowing possibilities: 25 % of all citizens are enrolled (44% of all children up to

15 years = 37 % of all library visitors),

- the Reading Badge: it covers: 56 % of all primary school children (125.000 young readers) in 99 % of Slovene primary schools.



With these projects we develop a complete approach; we do not develop only cognitive factors and processes but also motivation - emotional and social ones and we try to raise readers gradually. They are going on in kindergartens and first classes of Primary school, in public libraries and very often with the collaboration with The Reading Badge, the reading mouvement.

THE CRADLE OF READING (the first picture-book for the new born child and the folder on family reading for his parents); we want to inform parents of new born babies how favourably reading can influence mental and physical growing of the child in the very early years, and how important reading can be for fostering emotional ties.

GRANDMA AND GRANDPA TELLING (inviting grandparents to come and to tell stories and memories in kindergarten and public libraries); we want to make children and elders meet in reading.

PLAY - HOUR WITH BOOK (motivating children and their parents to use books and other reading material in public library); it is a library - information literacy program appropriate for children up to 9 years. In a storytelling and playing atmosphere a librarian introduces to the children and their parents a certain theme with the chosen books, periodicals, audio-visual material, even with internet pages. The purpose is to motivate them for the theme as well as to introduce them into the library, library material and information sources.

FAMILY READING WORKSHOPS (organizing special reading workshops for parents together with their children in the first classes of the elementary school).

They are the best method to involve parents into reading. It could be only one meeting per year or several meetings, regularly, one per month (one hour each): reading fiction books, esp. picture books, reading nonfiction books, reading periodicals for children and family, visiting a public library, visiting a puppet show and reading a fairy tale, using books and making greetings cards, toys, presents, etc., using cooking books and preparing snacks, using books, maps, e-documents, etc., and preparing excursions, reading and writing poetry, etc.

PRESCHOOL READING BADGE (stimulating adults, parents and teachers, to read to children); developed by the Slovene reading mouvement The Raeding Badge; it stimulates parents to read to pre-school children and to children in the first classes of the Primary schools. There is in the curricula of kindergarten and first classes of primary school collaborating with parents on the field of reading. Reading is connected to family reading: children enjoy reading with their parents and are stimulated to learn to read (in school).

• Teachers explain to parents the importance of reading not only for the child’s pre-reading development but also for his mental and general development. They organize the professional lectures.

• They inform them about the importance of having enough proper books at their disposal. They organize lending books in the kindergartens and school libraries and introduce them the nearest public library.

• They inform them about the reading activities in kindergartens and schools.

• Teachers organize reading workshops with parents and children together, visiting (public) library and other activities connecting reading.

TEA-TIME WITH CHILDREN BOOKS FOR GRANDPARENTS (informing grandparents about children’s literature in bookshops; building literacy bridges between children and grandparents); this project tries to include elder people into the process of reading, not only to themselves, but especially to their grandchildren: in this way the both profit, grandchildren and grandparents, from the reading materials and from each others feelings. It is a project of the central chain of the Slovene bookshops collaborating with the public libraries. It takes place once a month, from October to May. The programme and all promotion materials for the meetings are prepared centrally; but it is organized in local bookshops and carried out by librarians from local public libraries. During each tea-time party about 8-10 children´s books and 2-3 books for adults are represented and discussed; tea and sweets are served. Elder people come to assist tea-time party and they find it informative and pleasant, they find it as a sort of story telling hours for adults. Every season about 100 books are represented to about 2.500 people; two thirds of them read to their (grand)children and the encreased interest on the represented books is noticed in bookshops and libraries.




Knjižnica Otona Župan?i?a

enota Pionirska knjižnica,

Komenskega 9, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

e-mail: tilka.jamnik@lj-oz.sik.si

tel.: + 386 (0)41 60 34 36



Born in 1952, I studied French and comparative literature. I worked for 12 years in public opinion departement of Radio Slovenia. Since 1988 I have worked as a librarian in Pionirska knjižnica, the central children library in Slovenia. From 1993 to 1999 I was directress of the library.

My special occupation is promotion of children`s books, book education and storytelling. From this field I prepare lectures and workshops for teachers, librarians and parents. I have published in Slovenian language three books titled The Library Education of Children up to 9 Years, Who reads … and The Literary Education in Kindergartens (together with dr. Metka Kordigel), the work book The Reading Diary and two picture books In my Library and Pika in the Library.

I am member of The Slovenian Section of IBBY and I attended the TIBI Conference, Tehran (1999, with the paper The World of Sacred in the Children´s Books in Slovenia). I attended the IBBY Congress in Sevilla (1994), in Groningen (1996), in New Delhi (1998, with the paper Reading Literature Gives Peace ... So We Encourage Young People to Read Literature), in Cartagena (2000, with the paper With Books in the World), in Basel (2002, with the paper Using Web to Motivate Schoolchildren to Read) and in Cape Town (2004, with the paper What motivates today children for reading?).

I am member of The Slovene Reading Association and of IRA. I attended the 11th European Conference on Reading in Stavanger (1999, with the paper Play-hour with book, a modern form of library - information (pre)literacy program appropriate for children up to 9 years), the 12th European Conference in Dublin (2001, with the paper Library and Reading Literature), the International Leadership Conference in Reston (2001, with the paper The Reading Badge of Slovenia), the 13th European Conference in Tallinn (2003, with the paper The motivation possibilities used by The Reading Badge) and the 14th European Conference in Zagreb (2005, with the paper The Slovene Book Quiz, a modern form of library-information literacy project).

Every year I visit Children`s Book Fair in Bologna and later organize the exhibition "Bologna after Bologna" in Slovenia.