Research Centre on Children's Literature
The Research Centre on Children's Literature and Children's Reading at the University of Akureyri was founded on 4 February 2012. The founding members, in addition to the University of Akureyri, are the Municipal Library of Akureyri and Akureyri Museum. Furthermore there are some entities that are also members of the research centre: the Writers' Union of Iceland, SÍUNG (association of authors of books for children and young adult), IBBY (the association of professionals in school libraries) and others. Brynhildur Þórarinsdóttir author and Associate Professor at the University of Akureyri has led the activities of the Centre.
An MoU for the establishment of the Research Centre on Children's Literature was signed at UNAK on the Icelandic Language Day 2012. The need for a centre that focuses on the reading of books and the culture of children's reading has long been apparent. Countless studies have shown declining interest in book reading among Icelandic children and adolescents over the last decade. These studies include long-term research made by Þorbjörn Broddason 1968 - European Espadaña investigation, the multinational PISA study and Youth in Iceland.
Children's interest in reading has decreased both abroad and domestically but Icelandic children are below average and perform worse as a result of reading comprehension than children in the countries we usually compare ourselves with. The Centre's founders consider it important to conduct research in this field. They also believe that the time is now to use the studies that have been made to educate people and turn defence into offence.
The objectives of the Centre are the following:
- To conduct research and education on children's literature and reading in Iceland.
- To encourage and provide facilities for research in children's literature.
- To disseminate knowledge and information about children's literature in Iceland, and promote their visibility in the community.
- To promote a reading culture among children and adolescents in Iceland.
- To promote and consolidate domestic and foreign relations and participate in international knowledge in the field.
- To hold seminars and promot the publication of scholarly literature in the field.