SCIRA– Swedish Counsil of International Reading Association- was etablished in 1964 and became a national affiliate to ILA in 1965. The association was initiated by Professor Emeritus Eve Malmquist, at that time director of the Swedish Experimental School, which was placed in Linköping. Apart from Lindköping the first members of the new association were located in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Umeå. Very soon it became clear that the best way to run the association was by forming local or regional groups that could meet regularly, and then be united in a national organisation with a steering committee or board. So, this web-like organisation led to the formation of local or regional groups in different parts of the country, with their own steering committees elected by the members.
Today SCIRA has nine local/regional groups from Norrbotten in the north to Skåne in the south. The number of members in the local groups differs from 30 to 180, and the total membership of SCIRA today is about 900. Members are teachers at different school levels, e.g., pre-school, classroom and language teacher, reading specialists, remedial teachers, school administrators, librarians, teacher educators, researchers, psychologists, speech therapists, paediatricians and others who are interested in the promotion of reading, in literacy education and research.
SCIRA has a wide scope of interest in the fields of language and literacy. The local/regional groups therefore arrange a variety of activities on different topics, such as mini-courses, lectures, professional discussions, workshops, study visits, writing competitions for pupils.
On the national level, SCIRA has a board consisting of representatives from the local/regional groups, which meets twice a year. The board is elected as the Annual Meeting. About every two years SCIRA arranges a two-day seminar on a special theme, where professionals in different areas of research and experience give lectures.
SCIRA is represented in ILA’s International Development in Europe Committe (IDEC) and also a founding member of the recently established Federation of European Literacy Associations (FELA).
Twice a year – spring and autumn – SCIRA publishes a jorunal, LÄSNING (”reading”), with topical aricles about reading and writing as well as information of current interest about ILA, IDEC and FELA, and occasionally about sister associations in different countries. The material is primarily written in Swedish.