In a time that has seen most of the schools and educational institutions around the world closed, and human beings forced to stay indoors because of the corona virus outbreak, the world can leverage on the power and opportunity presented by books to combat the boredom associated with isolation, reinforce and strengthen ties, become creative while stimulating our minds, and expand our horizon. This month (April, 2020), and the entirety of this year, it is needful for us as individuals to read, celebrate and enjoy the advantages attached to reading, and foster a lifelong love for literature and its integration into the world of work.
Read more about other International Days
World Book Day
World Book and Copyright Day is a day meant to enjoy books and promote the habit of reading. It is an annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to celebrate reading, publishing, and copyright around the globe. It is celebrated on April 23rd of every year. The world recognizes the scope of books as:
- A link between the past and the future
- A bridge between generations and across cultures
To ensure every year’s celebration is a success, UNESCO and its partner international organizations representing the three major sectors of the world book industry- publishing, book selling, and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a period of one year in other to maintain through its initiatives, the reason for the Day’s celebrations.
The choice of April 23rd is symbolic as it is the date several high profile authors like William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega lost their lives. At the UNESCO General Conference held in Paris, 1995, April 23rd was selected as the date for the whole world to pay tribute to books and authors, and equally encourage people to access books.
World Book Day 2020
For this year’s celebration, the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has been selected as the World Book Capital owing to its strong focus and concentration on inclusive education, building a knowledge-based society, and ensuring access to reading for all part of the city’s population. With ‘’KL Baca – caring through reading,’’ as slogan, this year’s program has four core themes which include:
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- Reading in all its forms
- Development of the book industry infrastructure
- Inclusiveness and digital accessibility
- Empowerment of children through reading
Part of events and activities include the construction of a book city (the Kota Buku Complex), promoting a reading campaign for train commuters, improving digital services, and ease in accessing the National Library of Malaysia for the disabled, and developing sound digital services for 12 libraries in areas with poor housing in Kuala Lumpur. The World Book Capital’s objective is to promote and encourage reading and inclusiveness. Kuala Lumpur’s ambitious programme as World Book Capital is linked to the city’s Vision 2020 and its River of Life eco-city project, with libraries and open-air bookshops populating waterways that were newly restored in town.
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