Action at a local level has a key role to play in building an environment where reading and creativity is encouraged and supported, for all. The UNESCO World Book Capital Programme is there to highlight and celebrate great examples of cities and towns doing just this. Could yours be the next one? Nominations are open until 16 April 2023.

Since 2002, UNESCO has awarded the title of World Book Capital each year to a town or city which can highlight the potential to build a strong book and reading culture at the local level.

Over the years, the title has been held by cities on almost all continents, and been associated with significant innovation and investment in the infrastructure and programming necessary to get everyone reading. We have seen major campaigns to highlight the power of books, new libraries, and a very strong focus on inclusion, ensuring that everyone can benefit from what reading can bring.

IFLA is proud to be a member of the advisory committee for the Programme, working alongside UNESCO, the International Publishers Association, the International Authors Forum and the European and International Booksellers Federation.

The call for the city that will hold the title from 23 April 2025 is now open, with the successful candidate following Guadalajara, Mexico (current holder), Accra, Ghana (2023), and Strasbourg, France (2024).

Candidate cities will need to set out an activity plan, an outline of expenses, support from relevant authorities, flagship projects, and their conformity with principles of freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. They will also need to abide by the World Book Capital City Charter.

World Book Capital Cities have a strong history of working with libraries as key actors in building a reading culture. Alongside the writers who create and the publishers who support them, libraries make the essential link between them and readers, especially those who might otherwise be unable to enjoy the benefits of reading.

If you think that your city has the experience and potential to be the latest champion of books and reading, take a look at the application process on the UNESCO website – the key texts are available under ‘Important Documents’ if you scroll down.

Good luck!