The city of Wroclaw (Poland) has been named World Book Capital for 2016. The decision was made by an international committee of experts on 24 June during a meeting at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

The selection committee singled out  Wroclaw “in light of the strong assets of its programme in terms of quality and variety” and in particular, “for its special focus on grass-root community involvement, as well as promotion of publishing, bookselling industries and libraries at regional and international levels”.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, extended her congratulations to the city.  “Civic leaders in Wroclaw have developed an excellent programme that will promote reading among the wider public all through the year,” she said. The Director-General also thanked the selection committee “for its valuable work in favor of the promotion of books and of reading, through a global initiative that highlights the commitment of cities from different regions of the world.”

Each year, the international organizations that represent the three major sectors of the book industry — the International Publishers Association (IPA), International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) — select the World Book Capital for a one-year period.  The year starts on 23 April, World Book and Copyright Day, and brings together the city’s publishers, writers and literacy industry to promote and celebrate books and reading over the next 12 months.

Wroclaw is the 16th city to be designated World Book Capital following Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Yerevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015).



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