Have you ever had to wait a long time for a book to arrive after you ordered it online? It may be coming from a remote location or perhaps it is just out of stock. The Swedish also must understand that frustration, especially those who live in the remote islands of the North. That is where the Bokbåten fits into the story.
More than likely, you’ve never heard of a Bokbåten but it is an incredible concept. It is a boat that has a lot of books, similar to a floating library. Just wait until you find out what this floating library does.
Sweden has bragging rights because the literacy rates in the country are among the highest in the world. The government wants all children to read and they believe that having access to reading material is important for the quality of life and success. It doesn’t matter where you live or what your economic background is, they want you to have access to books.
Sweden’s Bokbåten visits the remote islands two times every year, once in the autumn and once in the spring. The boat is rented by the Stockholm Library Service and it is filled with more than 3000 books. It then heads off to the remote islands of the Stockholm archipelago, docking at 23 of those inhabited islands and allowing the local residents to browse the books.
If an islander would like a specific book they can order them ahead of time. Any new releases are a popular item.
According to a 2010 study, the people were affected in a very good way:
“The book boat is of great positive value for children and adults because they can in this way take part in the modern public library. The book boat has an important function as extraordinarily good public relations for the library’s services and has the effect of promoting reading not only in the archipelago but elsewhere.”