20th Anniversary Commemorative Project—SDGs and Children's Books: What Libraries Can Do

The International Library of Children's Literature (ILCL), which was established in 2000 in response to the dreams and hopes of many people, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, the ILCL is pleased to present "SDGs* and Children's Books: What Libraries Can Do" as a major theme for the future and children's books. The SDGs set out 17 goals to tackle around the world such as eliminating poverty and inequality, improving education and health, achieving gender equality, combating climate change, and promoting a peaceful and just society. These are also important themes for libraries and children.

This project features a dialogue between Ms. NEMOTO Kaoru, Director of the United Nations Information Centre, and Ms. HORI Junko, Director of the ILCL, as well as interviews with author Mr. TENDO Arata and picture book author and illustrator Ms. Oge Mora.

After 2020, with the global pandemic of the coronavirus, we are living in a world unlike any we have ever experienced before. In this dark and uncertain world, taking action to realize the SDGs will take on even greater significance. What can children's books and libraries do for children who will bear the future? We hope to think about this matter together with all the people involved in children's books.

* SDGs stands for Sustainable Development Goals. These were adopted in 2015 by consensus of all member countries of the United Nations, with the goal of achieving them by 2030.

Dialogue

Dialogue "SDGs and Children's Books: What Libraries Can Do" by Ms. NEMOTO Kaoru, Director of the United Nations Information Centre, and Ms. HORI Junko, Director of the ILCL.

In the first part, Ms. Hori of the ILCL heard from Ms. Nemoto of the UNIC about the SDGs and the current situation.


Dialogue "SDGs and Children's Books: What Libraries Can Do" Part 1 (about 16 minutes, YouTube. English and Japanese subtitles are available)

In the second part, Ms. Nemoto explains about the SDG Book Club and other initiatives. Then Ms. Hori and Ms. Nemoto discuss the role of children's books in achieving the SDGs and what librarians can do, based on episodes related to the books they read when they were children.


Dialogue "SDGs and Children's Books: What Libraries Can Do" Part 2 (about 16 minutes, YouTube. English and Japanese subtitles are available)

After working as a TV Asahi announcer and reporter, Ms. Nemoto worked at UNHCR from 1996 to 2011. She assumed her current position as the Director of UNIC Tokyo in August 2013. She earned Law degree from University of Tokyo and Master's degree in International Relations from Columbia University.

Interviews

Interview "What What What?: What Children's Books Can Do" with Mr. TENDO Arata, an author.

"What what what?," the English version of the picture book どーしたどーした, has been selected for the SDG Book Club's Book List Goal 3 "Good Health and Well-Being." This book's author, Mr. Tendo, talks about the background behind the title, his thoughts on the SDGs, and what children's books and libraries can do for SDGs.


Interview "What what what?: What children's books can do" (about 23 minutes, YouTube. English and Japanese subtitles are available)

Mr. Tendo was born in Ehime prefecture in Japan. He made his debut on the literary scene in 1986 with "The White Family" (白の家族), which won the prize for new writers by Yasei Jidai. He won one of the Japanese top literature awards, the Naoki prize, for "The Mourner" (悼む人) in 2008. His representative works include "Offspring of the Eternal" (永遠の仔). He published his first picture book "What what what?" (どーしたどーした) in 2014.

Interview "Thank You, Omu!: What Libraries Can Do" with Ms. Oge MORA, a picture book author and illustrator.

Ms. Oge MORA, a picture book author and illustrator, whose picture book "Thank You, Omu!" was selected for the SDG Book Club's Book List Goal 2 "Zero Hunger," talks about her memories of the library, the story behind "Thank You, Omu!," and what people who are involved with children's books can do for children.


Interview "Thank You, Omu!: What Libraries Can Do" (about 28 minutes, YouTube. English and Japanese subtitles are available)

Ms. Mora's picture book, "Thank You, Omu!," was a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner, and Ezra Jack Keats Book Award recipient. Her second book, "Saturday," won the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Award. Her artwork has been applauded by "The Washington Post," "The New York Times," "The Wall Street Journal," and "The Boston Globe." She also recently made the Forbes 30 Under 30 2021 list in Arts & Style.

SDG Book Club's Book List

The SDG Book Club, which consists of five organizations (the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the Intesrnational Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), and the Bologna Children's Book Fair (BCBF)) uses books as a tool to encourage children ages 6-12 to interact with the principles of the SDGs through a curated reading list of books from around the world related to each of the 17 SDGs in all six official UN languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

For enquiries

Planning and Cooperation Division
International Library of Children's Literature
National Diet Library
E-Mail: ilclat k o d o m o dot g o dot j p