A success story of a global effort to promote children’s multiliteracy development
In cooperation with Vienna Public Libraries, the Who I Am Children’s World Library opened its doors on September 26, 2015 located in one of Vienna’s most linguistic diverse districts, “Am Meiselmarkt” in the 15th district and supports children ages 5-14 with authentic, mother tongue literature in over 40 different languages. The global initiative, Turn the Page Challenge, launched by Who I Am won the good will of 33 embassies, 15 international schools, dozens of international organizations and countless global citizens to help end children's illiteracy by donating authentic children’s mother tongue literature in over 40 different languages. It is due to partnership with Vienna Public Libraries as a main partner and also Vienna International School that this project could come to fruition.
As of date, The Who I Am Children’s World Library consists of over 5,200 books, 600 music and audiobooks, 300 films in the German language as well as 4,200 titles in over 40 different languages (reaching our goal of 100 individual titles in each of our languages). In addition to our international collection of literature, our collaborative project "repatriated" children's literature by making languages accessible that are not recognized as a national language anywhere in the world. These languages include (Pashto, Dari, Romani, Chechen, and Kurdish). As of date, the Who I Am Children's World Library is the only library in the world to also host children's literature in these languages open to the public.
Thanks to Vienna Public Libraries, our collaborative project is sustainable. The Who I Am Children’s World Library is housed in an existing Vienna Public Library location and is managed by Vienna Public Library staff. We are grateful to Vienna Public Libraries for their time, energy, and resources to sustain this project.
The Who I Am Children’s World Library branch manager, Majda Kovacevic and her staff (all employees of Vienna Public Libraries) have successfully implemented various German and Mother Tongue literacy nights called Kirangolini-Lesestunden for children involving well known local authors and parent members from various diverse linguistic communities. As a result, they have reached record visits by children and book checkouts. The library has become a well known community culture center, frequently visited by schools and families stretching beyond the Vienna City Limits to nurture children’s linguistic identity and multiliteracy development. For further details and dates regarding the library events, please click here.
For more information about the Who I Am Children’s World Library opening hours, location and contact information, please click here.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at the Who I Am Children’s World Library or would like to donate new children's mother tongue literature, please write.......
Who I Am and Vienna Public Libraries would like to thank everyone for making a difference in our children by providing them with a book in their first language.