On Saturday, May 21, Mayor Jorritsma, along with several different language communities and the children, festively opened the extensive International Children’s Book Collection in the Eindhoven library. Together with over a hundred guests, it was made clear: that reading is worth celebrating!
Mayor Jorritsma loves to read to his grandchildren and to young children in the city every
year during the National Read Aloud Breakfast. According to Jorritsma, reading aloud is one of the mayoral duties that he enjoys doing. He emphasises that “besides being a lot of fun,
reading helps children build their future. Eindhoven is an international city with more than 160 nationalities. The city needs an international library. Books build a bridge between the Netherlands and other countries and cultures”.
Albert Kivits, the director of the Eindhoven library, highlights, “The Eindhoven Library embraces multilingualism and international communities. The International Children’s Book Collection is a great collaboration between the library and the international communities. With the collection, we promote reading pleasure and language development of children and strengthen the connection with Eindhoven.” The library has been working on expanding the international collection for some time. During the renovation of the youth department a year ago, it was given a good, visible place. Because these developments passed quietly during the pandemic, the library seized the moment now to proudly highlight the renewals, expansions, and collaborations.”
A proud day
Gisi Cannizzaro of Heritage Language Education (HLE) Network: “Today is a really proud day for the library, for HLE Network, for the different language groups, and especially for the multilingual children of Eindhoven. Look at what we can achieve when we work together!” Mayor Jorritsma and delegates from the various communities each read a page from the book ukkePuck by Bianca Mastenbroek and Iris van Dijck in their own language. And then it was the children’s turn. The children were given the honour of cutting the ribbons and officially opening the International Children’s Book Collection.
A growing collection
In October 2018, the first steps were taken in cooperation with The Reading Pier, an initiative of mothers Euying Tang-Chong and CT Lim. Their collection of English language children’s books was given a permanent place in the library. A collaboration with Heritage Language Education Network (HLE Network) followed in 2020. HLE Network connects a large number of mother tongue language programs that are on offer in Eindhoven. The various language books that were initially added to the library are Italian and Chinese. In the next phase, French, Romanian, Bulgarian, Persian, and Polish books followed. In addition to Dutch, there are currently reading-aloud activities in English, Ukrainian, Persian, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese. Ukrainian children’s books were also recently added in cooperation with the local community. Shortly, Korean, Spanish, books from the Indian languages and Turkish books will be added.