“Let’s make books the Croatian form of recreation!”: Croatian Book Month 2021

Objavljeno 18.10.2021.

Croatian Book Month 2021, this year’s edition of Croatia’s annual national programme successfully promoting books and reading for over twenty-five years, opened on 15 October at the Požega City Library, under the slogan Let’s make books the Croatian form of recreation!, spotlighting Croatian authors and the importance of national literary heritage.

The Month, which traditionally takes place until 15 November, was opened by the Croatian Minister of Culture and Media Dr Nina Obuljen Koržinek and included addresses by the Chair of the Croatian Book Month 2021 Programme and Organising Committee and Director of Zagreb City Libraries, Croatia’s largest public library network, Višnja Cej, Director of Požega City Library Aleksandra Šutalo, Mayor of Požega Dr Željko Glavić and Deputy Prefect of Požega-Slavonija County Ferdinand Troha.

Minister Obuljen Koržinek pointed out how apart from libraries, which have books as the focus of their activity and services, this year’s programme is also targeting theatres, museums and other cultural institutions, which the programme is encouraging to include the promotion of reading into their regular activities. Emphasising the Ministry’s current efforts to make culture and services in the cultural sector fully available to persons, especially children, with disabilities, the Minister presented the latest investments in this context, funded by resources from the European Social Fund, into 12 mobile libraries (bookmobiles), also announcing further investments into mobile library services, as absolutely essential in many Croatian counties.

Furthermore, the Minister pointed out significant investments in the past year, altogether 1,000,000.00 kuna, in relation to all stages of book production and promotion of reading, ranging from scholarships and incentives for authors to support provided for publishers and bookstores.

Speaking about the Ministry’s activities in the follow-up to the adoption of the latest Croatian Library Act, the Minister spotlighted the role in this context of the National and University Library in Zagreb, as an institution bringing together library professionals and offering professional development programmes, with the aim of enabling the staff of all libraries in Croatia to fulfil their current tasks and make their services available to all Croatian citizens.

The 2021 Croatian Book Month programme, taking place as part of the Ministry’s Year of Reading 2021 national campaign, includes 218 participating institutions, ranging from public and school libraries to museums, publishers and various associations, with over 1,600 events.