Hej! My name is Dariela Escobar and I am part of the Lilla Slottet project for Stadsbibliotek i Malmö.
How am I involved in this project?
I am currently writing my first year master’s thesis with Malmöstadsbibliotek. (Yes, I study a master’s degree where we write two theses, one each year!). Our aim, together with Unsworn Industries, as well as Erika and Hélen from the University of Gothenburg, is to help redesign the space at the library for children from 0 to 8 years old. My thesis is about digital literacies. I will be exploring a screen-less approach that will help small children become better at interacting with digital technologies as adults. In the following 8 weeks, Unsworn Industries and I will collaborate to create several fun workshops, as well as activities for the library staff and for children to test our ideas. This way, we hope to develop fresh concepts that will come to life for the new Lilla Slottet.
Who am I?
I am an Interaction Design master’s degree student at Malmö Högskola. I come from Mexico, where I grew up and studied a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. My passion is design for children. In the past, I have participated in different international projects aimed at familiarizing children from different backgrounds with art and design. I have also worked on different industrial and interaction design university projects, developing concepts, toys and installations for children.
How was my library experience growing up?
With both my parents being researchers, I grew up in a home that looked like a library. I was very lucky to travel a lot since I was a small child, and I visited libraries in many cities. However, my experience with such places in the school I attended was exclusively the following: a punishment cave!
Most people call me Dar. Growing up hearing someone call me by my full name usually meant I was in trouble. Even today I still prefer the softer, shorter version of my name, which is still used by most of my friends to talk to me.
So what happened if I talked during class? Dariela!! You will spend the next 3 hours at the library! You will take any random book and copy all the pages from it by hand on your notebook. What happened if I skipped a class? Or if I was late after recess? Dariela!! … And well, you get the rest of the picture.
But I am happy to say that I now have my own library card from Malmöstadsbibliotek and I am on the process of reading my borrowed copy of Astrid Lindgren’s Bröderna Lejonhjärta, my current challenge to practice my Swedish skills.
What do I hope to achieve with this project?
Based on this last experience, my dream is that all children in Malmö will have the same opportunities to come to the library and grow up loving the place. Today’s libraries are not only about books, and definitely not about copying them purposelessly by hand. Libraries and educational institutions are changing and finding ways to adapt to new technologies and media. My dream is that my research will contribute to this adaptation and that we will build an array of possibilities for children and parents to interact at Malmöstadsbibliotek, which will increase the number of families that love the library and attend regularly.