19 September 2017

Applications Open for World Book Capital 2020: IFLA Encourages Bids that Highlight Libraries

The World Book Capital initiative gives cities the opportunity both to celebrate local writing and culture, but also to promote reading and a love of books among residents and visitors. Bids are now open for 2020. IFLA welcomes candidates which recognise and promote the role of libraries in delivering more sustainable, literate and participatory societies.

Every year, a new world city is named UNESCO World Book Capital. This honour is an opportunity both to celebrate local writing and culture, but also to promote reading and a love of books among residents and visitors. IFLA has a key role in advising UNESCO on the choice, alongside the International Publishers Association.

The current holder of the title of World Book Capital is Athens, where IFLA held its 2017 President’s Meeting. Wroclaw, the venue of this year’s World Library and Information Congress, held it the year before. Both cities have shown their commitment to libraries as essential actors in helping everyone to learn and love to read.

The call for candidates for World Book Capital 2020 is now open. IFLA welcomes responses from cities which show how a rich cultural life can promote strong and sustainable communities, demonstrate a strong understanding of the role of libraries, and a vision for how their contribution can be further strengthened and recognised. We encourage our members to work with local authorities to develop the strongest possible bids.

For more information on how to apply, please see the World Book Capital website, and further details below:

Application Details

English

  • 2020 call for applications [PDF]
  • Application Form [Editable PDF]
  • Member States of UNESCO by region [PDF]

Français

  • 2020 appel à candidatures [PDF]
  • formulaire de candidature [PDF]
  • Liste des états membres de l’UNESCO par région [PDF]

Complete applications including a cover or support letter from the Mayor of the candidate-city and the national UNESCO Commission, and drafted in one of UNESCO Secretariat’s working languages (English or French), should reach UNESCO no later than 15 March 2018. No application received after this date will be taken into consideration.

Current & upcoming World Book Capitals

Past World Book Capitals

Madrid (Spain, 2001), Alexandria (Egypt, 2002), New Delhi (India, 2003), Antwerp (Belgium, 2004), Montreal (Canada, 2005), Turin (Italy, 2006), Bogotá (Colombia, 2007), Amsterdam (Netherlands, 2008), Beirut (Lebanon, 2009), Ljubljana (Slovenia, 2010), Buenos Aires (Argentina, 2011), Yerevan (Armenia, 2012), Bangkok (Thailand, 2013), Port Harcourt (Nigeria, 2014), Incheon (Republic of Korea, 2015), Wroclaw (Poland, 2016)

Literacy, Cultural heritage, UNESCO World Book Capital, UNESCO, LAMMS

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