Press Release Winners 2006

Nominations for the


The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award is given biennially to a project run by a group or institution that is judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for children and young people. The Award was established to during the 20th IBBY Congress held in Tokyo in 1986. After the congress the Japanese newspaper company the Asahi Shimbun wanted to continue its cooperation with IBBY on a permanent basis. This aspiration gave rise to the idea of creating a permanent award to recognize and honour outstanding and innovative projects that promote children’s reading throughout the world. Between 1988 and 2004 the Award was given every year, however, from 2006 the Award will be given biennially to two projects. IBBY is grateful to the sponsor of the Award, the Asahi Shimbun, for its ongoing support and for its generous contribution. The Award comprises US$ 10,000 and a diploma, thus encouraging the winners to continue and develop their projects further.

The National Sections of IBBY can submit nominations of worthy projects, which are then considered by a jury consisting of members of the IBBY EC. The 2006 Jury met in Bratislava in September 2005. The nominated projects are presented here and outcome of the jury deliberations will be announced at the Press Conference during the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, on 27 March 2006. The Award ceremony will take place during the IBBY Congress in Beijing, China, on Friday, 22 September 2006.


The nominated projects:

Name of project: Mala de leitura (Reading Suitcase), Amazon region, Brazil

Nominating IBBY Section: Brazil

The project launched in 1994 and restarted 2000, is organized by the Center of Amazonian Workers – CTA, a non-governmental and non-profit organization, which has been working in the health and education area for more than twenty years. The project consists of exchanging suitcases containing at least 30 children and young people’s literature books and other materials. The aim is to enlarge the cultural universe of communities living in isolated areas through literature. Another aim of the project is to increase the circulation of written materials. Thus, through the introduction of Brazilian and universal literature to students, the project gives new possibilities for reading to those living in more remote regions. The target groups of the suitcases include readers with reading difficulties in remote areas and schools in the cities with no access to books. The suitcases are taken to the schools and the books are shown. Teachers can then work with them using different reading techniques and literature texts in and outside the classroom. Teachers, coordinators and supervisors are also invited to participate in courses and workshops.


Name of project: Pedro Molino Library in Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Nominating IBBY Section: Canada

This project only began July 2005 and it is organized by PROBIGUA (Proyecto Bibliotheca), the Library Project of Guatemala. The aim of the project is to provide library services, including a reading programme, to the town of Chimaltenango, as well as a network system of libraries within the department of Chimaltenango for smaller townships, where there is no library available. This is the first time that such a project has been undertaken in the region and focuses on primary and high school students. The main library in Chimaltenango is housed in a former army installation and will serve as a model for a national library system that PROBIGUA is developing.


Name of project: Centro Chileno Nórdica de Literatura Infantil, Chile

Nominating IBBY Section: Denmark

The Centre opened in Santiago in 1997 with a small children’s library offering picture books and games. Two public children’s libraries, one of which was established in a disadvantaged neighbourhood of Valparaiso soon followed. The libraries help to make children’s literature accessible to disadvantaged children and their families. The centre also runs training sessions for professionals and volunteers that promote international understanding through children’s literature, research the effects of children’s literature and introduce teachers to working with parents. This is done by organizing workshops on picture books, story writing, translating, producing and repairing books and celebrations of important events in the world of children’s literature. The cultural exchange of Chilean and Nordic traditions is also an important part of the programme. Many Danish institutions support the project.


Name of project: Alif Laila Book Bus Society, Lahore, Pakistan

Nominating IBBY Section: India, with support of USBBY

The Alif Laila Book Bus Society was established in 1978 and is aimed at all children in Pakistan. The project’s objective is to broaden the children’s horizon by books as well as by other sources of learning. At present only children in the Punjab province are reached, but it is intended to replicate the project in other areas with help of the Pakistan Government. With a fulltime staff and many volunteers, the Book Bus is the first library in Pakistan that caters solely for children. Storytelling is an essential part of the work with a special focus on Urdu and the Society has developed an early language kit for Urdu speakers. Other activities include a puppet theatre and a reference library. [ Read more about their activities in the recent earthquake relief work.]


Name of project: Libraries for Cultural Development, Tehran, Iran

Nominating IBBY Section: Iran

Since 2000 the project Libraries for Cultural Development has paid special attention to cultural activities and education for girls. The project is organized by the Centre for the Cultural Development of Children (CCDC) in Tehran and aims at creating self-esteem amongst the young people of the villages. One of the aims of the project is to promote cultural literacy through quality books and cultural activities for children and young people aged 6 to 18 in deprived rural areas of Iran. The libraries are established as centres for reading, storytelling, creative drama and author programmes that allow the young people to meet their favourite authors.


Name of project: Early Readers Book Project for Aceh, Indonesia

Nominating IBBY Section: Japan

The Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature in Jakarta, Indonesia began their Early Readers Project in 2002. The project aims at promoting the reading habit in young children; an age group often neglected. The target group is children from 0 to 8 years old from low-income families, and includes their mothers. They are reached through schools, orphanages, libraries and healthcare centres by holding storytelling sessions, reading competitions and festivals. Not only reading promotion, but also writing promotion is encouraged to give young children access to more books in their own language. Young writers and illustrators are stimulated by workshops and training activities. Following the Tsunami disaster at the end of 2004 the conditions in the region have deteriorated greatly, causing more problems for the families. However, it has been noticed that the storytelling activities are very effective methods of helping to heal the children after their ordeal.


Name of project: Mongolian Children’s Mobile Library Project, Mongolia

Nominating IBBY Section: Mongolia

The project was established in 2002 by renowned Mongolian writer Jambyn Dashdondog together with the help of many volunteers including students, writers and artists, as well as his own family. It aims at the promotion of book reading among children in rural areas throughout Mongolia, specifically the young people who live in the remote areas as members of the nomadic groups of herders. The mobile libraries are transported not only by bus across the vast steppes, but also by camel! The first books used in the libraries were picture books, selected from the best children’s stories by local and international authors. After this initial selection, a campaign in Japan collected 10,000 picture books donated by Japanese children. Mongolian students of Japanese translated the books and the translated texts were glued into the books over the Japanese text. The project is a new initiative for this huge country and is becoming well known through the country.


Name of project: Bücherbus in Nicaragua, Managua, Nicaragua

Nominating IBBY Section: The Netherlands, with support from Germany and Switzerland

Since 1984 the project has received support from many private sponsors. The project was initiated by a German national, but is managed by local librarians and educators in Nicaragua. The ‘Book Bus’ visits schools, prisons and social institutes, and was instrumental in building a new public library in Managua. The aim of the project is the promotion of reading and the development of literacy amongst less privileged young people in Nicaragua as well as giving them access to a wider range of literature. The target group comprises children, young mothers, handicapped people and young prisoners, with special attention to young women and drug addicts. Included in the project’s aims is the promotion of mutual understanding between the people of Latin American and Europe.


Name of project: Eastern and Central Reading and Encouragement Network (E.C.READ’N) Masterson, New Zealand

Nominating IBBY Section: New Zealand

The project comprises different programmes, which are organized by the Eastern and Central Reading Encouragement and Development Network. The aim of the project is to interest, encourage and stimulate children to enjoy reading. The Summer Reading Programme was launched in 1997/1998 and targets children from 2 to 11 years in isolated areas of New Zealand. The Summer Reading Programme materials are translated into Maori for the Te Reo Programme, which offers the opportunity for those speaking the Maori language – one of the two official languages of New Zealand – to participate in reading books in their own language. The Young Adult Programme targets youngsters from 12 to 18 years. In all these programmes the follow up is important. Readers sign a contract to spend time each day reading. They have to report about their reading and build up a relationship with librarians. Each library has its own calendar of activities to make reading a pleasure for all.


Name of project: National Campaign ‘All of Poland Reads to Kids’, Poland

Nominating IBBY Section: Poland

The campaign All of Poland Reads to Kids started in 2001 and is now well known all over Poland. It is carried out by the Foundation “ABCXXI – Emotional Health Program” and has a strong media participation. The project aims at revitalizing the custom of reading to children at home, in kindergartens and at school, thus encouraging the healthy emotional development of children. The direct target groups are parents, teachers, caregivers and other people working with children, as well as the media. Well-known Polish personalities participate in the campaign; inspiring adults to read to children. The project staff are supported by many volunteers and the campaign is having beneficial results all over Poland.


Name of project: Reading Together, Salamanca, Spain

Nominating IBBY Section: Spain

The project Reading Together was established at the end of 2003 and is an initiative to promote reading in the home. It is organized by the International Centre of Children and Young People’s Literature of the Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez in Salamanca. The target group of the project is families with children and is divided into different age groups: babies and children up to 7 years, children from 6 to 12 years and adolescents. Small packs of books and other materials can be borrowed from the Centre in Salamanca, the Reading Together Bookmobile in the province of Salamanca, and with collaboration of Red Cross, through the Reading Together Immigrant Collectives to immigrant populations in Salamanca. Each pack includes suggestions and recommendations about how to use the materials, thus encouraging families to read together on a regular basis.



It is good to see all these projects that are driven by the idealism, imagination, courage and tenacity of dedicated individuals who believe in the IBBY principles. As former IBBY Executive Director Leena Maissen wrote: “children have the right to read and that for a better world tomorrow we should give children the books they need today.”


Jant van der Weg

President of the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Jury 2006