3, 2, 1…and Croatian Book Night 2018 lifts off!
On Monday, 23 April 2018, at 12:00, the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) will host the “lift-off” of this year’s Croatian Book Night, whose seventh edition is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the second manned spaceflight mission of the space programme Apollo 8 as part of which the first men in history were sent into orbit around the Moon. Also marking the anniversary of two ground-breaking SF films, Franklin J. Schaffner’s Planet of the Apes and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 2018 Croatian Book Night programme highlights many questions and issues surrounding the sometimes not so bright future of books.
The “lift-off” programme will include the presentation of the results of the latest survey of Croatia’s book market, conducted by the GfK market research agency, which will provide valuable insight into the reading habits of Croats, their tendency to borrow and buy books, and other details revealing how interested in books they actually are, in which context, according to those already acquainted with the survey results, there is every reason for optimism.
The programme will also include the opening of Marrakesh Treaty: Why Is It Important?! (Ugovor iz Marakeša: zašto je važan?!), a special exhibition organised as part of I WISH TO READ TOO!, a national campaign for persons with print disabilities conducted by the Croatian Library Association. The purpose of the exhibition, which is authored by Željka Miščin, is to call attention to the significance of the implementation of this treaty – adopted in 2013 to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons – in Croatia, as well as of the inclusion among the beneficiaries of this treaty persons with reading disorders such as dyslexia. Acting as the exhibition co-organisers are the Croatian Library for the Blind and the National and University Library in Zagreb.
President of the Croatian Association of School Librarians Vanja Jurilj will present the award-wining works of primary- and secondary school students selected through this year’s special art competition as part of which the young contestants had to express their ideas on how they see books, readers and book-and-reading spaces in the future (Ubaci knjigu u vremenski stroj!).
The members of the Croatian Book Night Organising Committee will present Book Friendly (Prijatelj knjige), the Book Night initiative’s latest project. Aimed at business entities not strictly making part of the “book sector”, but which could greatly contribute to and at the same time profit from the promotion of books and reading, the project defined criteria based on which places such as social clubs, cafés, restaurants, hotels, etc. will receive a special Book Friendly rating, which will be displayed on a bilingual label and indicate to visitors that the place is reading-friendly, whether in terms of it offering books or providing reading-stimulating conditions and atmosphere.
Croatian Book Night fans already have the opportunity to witness the building of a Book Rocket, which is currently being put together in the lobby of the National and University Library in Zagreb for the purpose of making as strong as symbolic a message that the future without books is out of the question.
This year’s Croatian Book Night offers a record number of programmes in as great a number of cities and towns all across the country. Thus, 284 Croatian cities and towns will host as many as more than 1,130 different programmes and events, organised by over 625 institutions and organisations (libraries, bookstores, publishing companies, educational institutions, institutes, cultural centres, hospitals, museums, writers’ associations), and book-loving individuals. It should be specially emphasised that this year, apart from many secondary schools and higher education institutions, as many as 188 primary schools and 26 kindergartens will be taking part in the programme, which is particularly encouraging in the context of sometimes seemingly so uncertain future prospects of the book.
The organisers of Croatian Book Night are again the Publishers and Booksellers Association of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, National and University Library in Zagreb, Zagreb City Libraries, Knjižni blok – Inicijativa za knjigu pro-book association, Publishers’ Reprographic Rights Association – ZANA (Udruga za zaštitu prava nakladnika) and Moderna vremena, a books-and-culture-oriented web portal, together with the Croatian Association of School Librarians, which joined Croatian Book Night’s organising team for the first time.