More books for Spanish and Portuguese-speaking children in Finland 

The collection of children’s literature in Portuguese and Spanish in Helmet’s catalog is continually being expanded and diversified, with support from the immigrant community. There is a new website to showcase the 2021 and 2022 Kolibrí selection of literature in Spanish, thanks to the support of Helmet Vantaa. The national multilingual library offers children’s books in Portuguese to families all over Finland. 

On September 22, 2022, over 100 children’s and youth recently-published titles were gifted to the Helmet library system and to the Multilingual Library. This is the 7th time that Kulttuurikeskus Ninho contributes to the collection of public libraries in Finland as part of the program for improvement of the catalog of children’s literature in Portuguese and Spanish. This gift would not have been possible without the generous support of the Embassies of Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Uruguay, Instituto Camões (Portugal), Directorate-General for Books, Archives and Libraries, DGLAB (Portugal), Mexican authors Juan Palomino and Ana Paula Ojeda (Kolibrí 2022 invited artists), as well as the distinguished Peruvian writer Micaela Chirif. 

Vantaa libraries created the Kolibrí selection webpage to showcase the titles from the 2021 gift, that included literature from Argentina and Chile. The Kolibrí selection is a valuable resource for Spanish-speaking families and teachers, providing detailed information on titles and links to their location in the Helmet system, making it easy for them to be reserved and sent to the library closest to home (you can find the Kolibrí selection here.  Titles included in the Kolibrí selection are all part of the children’s and youth Helmet catalog of 1866 titles. The prize-winning Multilingual Library, responsible for sponsoring literature in minority languages in the entire country, also added the Kolibrí titles to its collection of 348 books available to readers anywhere in Finland. 

This program, started by Kulttuurikeskus Ninho in 2016, has already gifted over 300 titles to Finland’s public libraries in collaboration with several Embassies in Finland as well as authors such as Isol Misenta (Argentina), Isidro Ferrer (Spain), Yara Kono (Brasil/Portugal), Paloma Valdivia (Chile) and their publishing houses. If you want more details about the titles included in the various gifts as well as information on how to access them through the Helmet system, check the news section of Kolibrí’s website. Through this program, Ninho hopes to improve access to children’s literature in Spanish and Portuguese, fostering reading practices for plurilingual children, as well as to provide resources and support for educational institutions and teachers of heritage languages (Kotikieli). 

Kulttuurikeskus Ninho ry is a multicultural Finnish organization led by the community of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking immigrants. Its mission is to make the children’s culture sector in Finland more diverse and plurilingual.  

You can find the Kolibrí selection of children’s books in the Helmet library system.

Photo: Maikki Kantola