I’ll write more generally about the conference later, but right now I want to talk about a specific project that the MeTRa Center here is spearheading because I think that it is very important.
The G-Book Project is a joint initiative by academics and librarians in Italy, France, Spain, Ireland, Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is funded by the Creative Europe Culture Programme. The project has three main objectives:
– To support the circulation of “gender-positive children’s literature” at the EU level;
– To stimulate and encourage local librarians to stock such books; and
– To raise awareness in local communities about the importance and benefits of such books.
What do they mean by “gender-positive”? Primarily they mean books which avoid harmful gender stereotypes of the “girls can only do these things, boys can only do those things” type, but instead are empowering for all children. That will include positive representation of LGBT+ people and relationships.
One of the outcomes of the project will be an online database of recommended books, split into two age groups of 3-5 and 6-10 years. Other outputs will hopefully include reviews, support material for teachers, parents, etc., and interactive aspects such as games and an interactive story.
Naturally part of the work will be to find suitable books to include. That may be more challenging in some of the target languages than others, but hopefully that will also spur translations. I will be pestering some of you about this over the next few weeks.
And yes, I know, Brexit stupidity means that there is no official UK involvement, but thanks to our Irish pals books in English are eligible.