Who are we?
The Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books is a national educational and knowledge center for children’s and young people’s literature in Norway. Our mandate is based on educating authors of children’s and young people as well as disseminators of this literature, conducting research in the field and most importantly, sharing knowledge to both the field of reading and society in general.
Our main target groups are librarians, teachers, students, researchers, authors, illustrators, and other literary disseminators. We also offer study hall facilities for authors, students, and researchers.
The institute was founded in 1979. We develop and disseminate research-based knowledge about literature for children and young people. We offer education and courses in children’s and young people’s literature, organize open seminars, and spread knowledge and information.
We are centrally located at Solli plass in Oslo, on the 3rd floor of the extension to the National Library at Observatoriegata 1B.
Our core tasks
Education and Courses
Through our three NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education)-accredited education programs, we aspire to facilitate new voices in children’s and young adult literature. You can learn more about our programs at the master’s and bachelor’s levels here:
- Master’s Program in Creative Writing For Children and Youth and Dissemination
This accredited master’s program aims to educate innovative authors with literary insight who have the skills to write for different platforms and can reflect on and document their own writing process and disseminate literature to children and young people. Up to 12 students are admitted based on entrance exams. The program provides 120 study credits.
- The Bachelor’s Program in Writing and Dissemination
is a part-time program designed for those who want to write for children and young people. The course runs for two years, based on seminars, and admits up to 15 students. The program provides 60 study credits.
- Online Studies in Contemporary Literature for Children and Young People
is a online program tailored to the everyday work of teachers, librarians, and other literature disseminators. Up to 30 students are admitted. The program spans two semesters and provides 30 study credits.
- Stand-alone courses and student visits
The Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books also has extensive experience in dissemination of literature and educational activities for teachers, preschool teachers, students, librarians, illustrators, and others in the field. The institute regularly offers various courses as well as group visits/student visits.
The Department of Public Relations
This department handles the institute’s outward communication activities and projects. The goal is to connect new knowledge about children’s and young adult literature and its dissemination with contemporary developments through open events, seminars, teaching, podcasts, and articles.
The DisseminationLaboratory is a national project where we develop and test dissemination methods in collaboration with various actors. The goal is to experiment with new practices and research for better disseminationof literature to children and young people:
- Literature dissemination for children and young people
- Participatory literature dissemination practices
- Literature dissemination to newcomers to the country
The Sustainability Library is a dissemination program designed to provide children and young people aged 6-15 with good and varied reading experiences and a constructive understanding of the UN’s sustainability goals. The Sustainability Library is inspired by the UN’s SDG Book Club and consists of book lists, activity materials, and video presentations.
Seminars and Events
We offer between 8 and 10 events to the public every year. These events vary from open professional days on various topics, research seminars, and seminars aimed at specific groups. Stay tuned to our platforms for information and registration. The Ministry of Culture’s literary awards are Norway’s largest children’s literary awards. Since 2003, the Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books has managed the jury and the annual award ceremony on behalf of the ministry.
We produce a podcast, where we connect knowledge about children’s literature to current trends in society. We invite experts from the institute and guests from the field of children’s literature, as well as people from other arts and culture fields.
Articles and Interviews
Knowledge is also disseminated through academic articles, interviews, newsletters, and social media. Our article collections cover topics such as artistic development work, literature dissemination, and the children’s voice in literature. Since 2009, the institute has also highlighted illustrators in the field in the «Illustrator of the Month» series.
Research and Artistic Development
The Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books works to strengthen research in the field of children’s books and build up artistic development work. Therefore, we have staff with both artistic and scientific expertise.
Among those with artistic expertise, there is 1 senior lecturer, 2 associate professors in children’s and youth literary writing and 1 associate professor in visual and digital literature.
Among those with scientific expertise, there are 2 senior lecturers, 1 doctoral candidate, and 1 professor in literature with a focus on children’s and youth literature. The institute’s research and artistic development work is carried out through both individual projects and collaboration in larger joint projects:
Research various dissemination methods for different groups of children and young people and teaches these methods to our students and external groups.
Research related to 3-year academic projects initiated by the institute
In 2023, we are preparing a new research project on the relationship between children’s and youth literature and cultural policy. You can read more about our previous research projects here.
Artistic Development Work
Artistic development work is about researching not in art, as researchers do, but through one’s own artistic processes. This means that artistic production should also result in its own reflection work. Both parts should be publicly accessible. See, for example, the article collection Kunstnerisk forskning og utviklingsarbeid.
Children’s Literature Research Journal
New research is published in the peer-reviewed open-access journal «Barnelitterært forskningstidsskrift» (Nordic Journal of Childlit Aesthetics). The Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books and Høgskulen på Vestlandet are responsible publishers. The journal is published in collaboration with Universitetsforlaget and is part of the Idunn portfolio.
Other Areas of Interest
Joy of reading
The Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books actively works to promote joy of reading in various areas and has also provided input to the government’s strategy on the issue, which will be released in 2024.
Ministry of Culture’s Awards
The institute administers the Ministry of Culture’s awards for children’s and youth literature on behalf of the ministry. These are Norway’s largest awards for children’s literature.
The Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books owns a substantial book collection that is managed by the National Library. Research literature and the last three years of academic and literary releases for children and young people can be found in our on-site library. Earlier releases are available in the National Library’s storage.
Kari Skjønsbergs foundation
The foundation’s purpose is to stimulate artistic and academic research and dissemination of research within the field of children’s and youth literature. The foundation is managed by the Norwegian Institute for Children’s Books.
Every other year, the NBI Scholarship of 100,000 NOK is awarded from the foundation for a current children’s literary research project, either in the field of children’s and youth literature or through artistic work.
Every other year, the Kari Skjønsberg Prize is also awarded from the foundation. The prize is awarded by an expert jury and is given in the form of a travel grant to a researcher or disseminator of research who has excelled in the field.
BLFT – Barnelitterært forskningstidsskrift (Nordic Journal of Childlit Aesthetics), a Nordic peer-reviewed electronic research journal
Other important publications that NBI has contributed to include:
- The anthology «Litteraturformidlingens arenaer og praksiser» is based on the results of the institute’s research project «Litteratur, litteraturformidling og kunstopplevelse» and discusses how literature for children and young people is disseminated in various physical venues and through different media. The anthology is edited by Kristin Ørjasæter and Anne Skaret. Additionally, Øystein Espe Bae, Boel Christensen-Scheel, Nina Goga, Lykke Guanio-Uluru, Hanne Kiil, Dag Larsen, Anne-Stefi Teigland, Åse Kristine Tveit, and Elise Seip Tønnessen contribute to it.
- The monograph «Litteraturformidling og kunstopplevelse. En studie av Den kulturelle skolesekken» is based on the results of the institute’s research project «Litteratur, litteraturformidling og kunstopplevelse» and reports on artistic development work, an empirical study, and theoretical discussion of literature and dissemination presented through «Den kulturelle skolesekken. The monograph is co-authored by Kristin Ørjasæter and Anne Skaret. Additionally, Hilde Hagerup contributes a chapter on the artistic development work that she, Endre Lund Eriksen, and Anna Fiske conducted during the project.
- «Jakten på fortellinger – Barne- og ungdomslitteratur på tvers av medier» (Universitetsforlaget 2014), edited by Elise Seip Tønnessen, is based on the results of our research project «Barne- og ungdomslitteraturen i et medialisert tekstunivers» (2011-2014). The project focuses on what happens to texts and readers when texts are transferred between various media, including books, film screens, TV screens, computers, mobile phones, and other media that surround us in different situations today.
- «Norsk barnelitteraturhistorie» by Tone Birkeland, Gunvor Risa, and Karin Beate Vold, Samlaget 1997/2005/2018.