Library Activity as Development Aid

Maria Wickenberg


In this paper I reflect on how library activity can function as development aid to countries in development and examine if it can contribute to sustainable development. In this study sustainable development refers to the social dimension of global sustainable development. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (called Sida) is also referred to in this paper.

This paper describes the children’s literature program of Diakonia in Gaza, Palestine, in order to illustrate how library activity can function as a development aid. Diakonia is a non-profit development organization of two Swedish churches that work all over the world for a permanent change of the situation for the poorest and the most vulnerable people.

The study is based on a case study carried out in December 2012 with an employee of Diakonia with good knowledge of the children’s literature programme in Gaza. The statements of the respondent show that the children’s literature programme of Diakonia in Gaza meets several of the Swedish government's and Sida's criteria for what they want the development aid to be used for. The activity also corresponds well with the social dimension of global sustainable development. The conclusion is that development aid to library activity directed to children and young people can develop the society and be a long-term investment for the future.

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