23 April 2020

Libraries celebrate World Book & Copyright Day in spite of COVID-19

By Jan Richards

Despite the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19, pandemic libraries around the world are marking World Book & Copyright Day on 23 April 2020 and celebrating with their communities. 

Malaysian libraries will lead in the celebration of ‘Jom Baca’ or ‘Read Together’. In previous years, the community was encouraged to come together at 11am and read for 10 minutes.

In the COVID19 environment reading will be done at home. The reading fest has been organised virtually, and the countdown towards 23 April began earlier in the month. People are encouraged to post their readings, or submit videos of book reviews, or simply take a picture of themselves reading, and post it on social media. Several libraries have organised writing competitions, pictures and videos competitions and ebooks were shared online.

In the United Kingdom  the Reading Agency has announced that the UK’s World Book Night celebrations, to be held on Thursday 23rd April 2020, will be digital due COVID-19. What a great way to connect a nation in self-isolation. There are 25 books which are being given away in public libraries, care homes, youth centres, colleges, prisons, mental health groups and other settings on World Book Night 2020! 

Meanwhile in Bulgaria International Children's Book Day on 2 April usually heralds the start of the country's 15th annual 'Reading Marathon' which public, school and community libraries actively support. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 Marathon which leads up to World Book Day  has been transformed to become an online initiative, Libraries have invited people to read their favourite stories from home on Facebook or YouTube. Many children's authors have also responded to library invitations and read their stories online.

All this goes to prove that librarians can overcome many obstacles to keep their communities enagaged and READING!

Literacy and Reading, Reading, World Book and Copyright Day

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