A while back on this blog I wrote about the Latvian Children's Library portal as an example of some fabulous promotion of libraries to the younger generation: you can read the original post here.
Since then I've asked Silvija Tretjakova (Head of the Children's Literature Centre at the National Library of Latvia) some more questions about the project. Here's what she had to say.
Who created the images, and how did you work with them?
Talented children’s book animation artist Reinis Pētersons created the visual concept. Children liked his previous work and he has received several awards, so we chose to work with him. www.reinispetersons.com
There is still more visual material that will be posted on the site.
How did the interactive picture concept come about? What were the reasons for doing this?
The working team come up with the tree as the core motif of the National Library children’s interface www.lasamkoks.lv (known as the reading-tree). The National Library Children’s literature centre experts and artist Reinis Pētersons saw this as a way of attracting children’s attention.
How has the feedback been locally? It's certainly gone down very well internationally with other library professionals! But have the children liked it?
The young readers like it! We saw that during the Museum night activity, when museums across Latvia welcome visitors all night. We had hundreds of people come through the library and the interface was one of the main objects of interest. The Children’s digital library antique children’s book collection was the most popular. We have tested the project among professionals, and the main conclusion is that we need even more interactivity.
Latvian libraries generally seem to take the views of children very seriously, and work with them. Can you talk a little about this approach?
Yes, indeed Latvian libraries do take children’s views very seriously. It might have to do with the Children and Youth Jury reading promotion programme, now in its 12th year. More than 500 libraries and schools participate every year and 10 to 17 thousand young readers express their views on the newest books. We also have well-developed children’s library service monitoring: National Library Children’s Literature Centre serves this function at the national level and regional key libraries do it locally.