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Entertaining and compelling real-life stories. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on March 26th 2024
Saving an unusual library.

The Epos
The Epos Photo: newsinenglish.no

Among the world's most unusual libraries, is the 80-foot Epos, a floating library visiting about 250 tiny communities biannually in the Norwegian west coast islands and inlets.

Because of their isolation, these communities are most easily accessed by boat, so in 1959 the Norwegian government began a library boat just for them.

It primarily carried children's literature and became so popular, that in 1963 the Epos was built for this particular purpose. And whenever it visited, it was a major event.

It carried about 6,000 books and became a floating cultural treasure, loaning books, hosting plays and featuring singing and dancing and mini-concerts.

The Epos
Photo: nicenews.com

As many as 150 children and adults at a time participated.

But then in 2020, after nearly 60-years, because of Covid and other issues, the Epos shut down for lack of funding.

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But in these tough times, people needed the Epos most.

28 municipalities united to support their beloved boat, and organized 88 cultural events from August thru November, 2021.

The Epos
Inside the Epos Photo: unusuallibraries.wordpress.com

In February, 2022 the Norwegian nonprofit Fritt Ord Foundation provided a nearly $300,000 grant to keep the boat afloat, and its operation was assigned to a bipartisan group.

And journalist Maria Pile Svåsand, a devoted fan of the Epos became its manager, which brought the boat's management full circle.

"My grandfather built the boat for book shipping in 1963, and my parents ran the boat throughout my childhood," Maria told Tekstallianse. "I know how much it means to many people ... "

As the New York Times reported, the Epos is carrying on its tradition of literary events, including authors, actors, musicians and clowns, performing for the children.

Editor's Note: To learn more nicenews.com/culture/epos-book-boat-floating-library-norway/ and frittord.no/en/home.

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