The call for applications for the title of UNESCO World Book Capital City 2023 is open. IFLA encourages cities with cities with strong and innovative policies supporting books and readings to apply.

At the heart of the mission of libraries is the promotion of books and reading as essentials for human development.

Through support for building literacy skills at the youngest ages, organising exciting and engaging programming around writers, and simply ensuring that books do not end up as a luxury good, limited to the wealthy, libraries play a vital role.

Our institutions are therefore central to any effort to ensure a healthy book sector, founded on a literate and creative population, alongside publishers, booksellers, and of course writers themselves.

The UNESCO World Book Capital City programme provides an opportunity to highlight the initiatives and achievements of towns and cities which are making exemplary efforts to support these goals.

The call for applications for the holder of this title for the year starting from 23 April 2023 (World Book and Copyright Day) is now open on the UNESCO website.

Candidates are expected to set out what they will do to support books and reading, including both supporting creativity and new writing, and enabling access and enjoyment by all, working with all relevant stakeholders.

The successful city will follow Tbilisi, Georgia (holder from 23 April 2021), and Guadalajara, Mexico (from 23 April 2022).

Given that the 2022 holder is in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, no city from this region can apply in this round. Furthermore, no city from a country in which there has been a World Book Capital in the last ten years can apply. The deadline is 15 April.

IFLA encourages libraries in cities which could be strong candidates to talk with their local governments about potential bids.

You can find further information on the UNESCO website.