The Swiss Institute for Children’s and Youth Media (SIKJM) (Switzerland)

The main activities of the Swiss Institute for Children’s and Youth Media SIKJM are research and documentation in the field of children’s and youth media and reading promotion. SIKJM was established in January 2002, created through the merger of the Schweizerisches Jugendbuch-Institut (SJI, established in 1968) and the Schweizerischer Bund für Jugendliteratur (SBJ, established in 1954).

The Johanna Spyri Foundation is the body responsible for SIKJM, and the Johanna Spyri Archive is incorporchildated into the Johanna Spyri Foundation. Headquartered in Zürich, SIKJM also has branches in the French-speaking and Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland. It is supported by grants from the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the State Secretariat for Education and Research.

SIKJM has a library containing approximately 45,000 items, including the international children’s book collections of Elisabeth Waldmann and Bettina Hürlimann. It is the only institution in Switzerland that collects and catalogues children’s literature. It has a special focus on Swiss children’s literature, but it also collects and catalogues books from neighbouring countries such as Germany and Austria, and the works of international authors and illustrators which are nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen award.

SIKJM’s research projects are concerned with historical research including the life and works of Johanna Spyri, and, among other things, new media, fantasy literature and the first steps taken by young children in the reading process. The results of research projects and conferences are published as reports.

SIKJM develops projects for promoting reading and implements them throughout Switzerland with the help of cantonal and regional organisations. At the moment, reading promotion focuses especially on preschool projects.

The range of services provided includes book and media recommendations, courses for university students and teacher training courses as well as conferences. Specialist magazines in German (Buch&Maus), French (Parole) and Italian (Il Folletto) present background reports, interviews, and articles on the latest developments in the field of children’s and youth literature. The Institute helps to find specialists for juries like e.g. the Biennial of Illustration in Bratislava or the Hans Christian Andersen award. It also organises exhibitions on outstanding personalities in the field of children’s and youth literature together with their work as well as on historical, current and artistic trends.

The Swiss Institute for Children’s and Youth Media (SIKJM) works with cantonal and regional organisations in Switzerland. It is an Associate Institute of the University of Zürich and the Swiss section of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People). It cooperates with similar institutions in other European countries.

Schweizerisches Institut für Kinder- und Jugendmedien SIKJM
Georgengasse 6
CH-8006 Zürich

t +41 43 268 39 00
f +41 43 268 39 09