IPA Blog

Publishers have helped us inspire 290,000 children to read – but there is still work to do

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Our charity, Book Aid International, works for a world where everyone has access to books that will enrich, improve, and change their lives. Every year, we provide around one million brand new books to thousands of libraries, schools, universities, hospitals, refugee camps and prisons around the world where people would otherwise have few books, or no books at all.

The support of publishers is vital to our work. Publishers donate all the books we send, and we hear again and again from our partners and readers around the world that the quality of the books we provide is what makes our charity unique.

We know that simply making books available is not always enough – particularly when it comes to supporting education. That is why in addition to providing books, we also work with our partners to create reading spaces for children in libraries, train teachers and librarians, create school libraries and fund the purchase of local books.

Our largest education programme, Inspiring Readers, has put over 372,473 brand new, publisher donated books into the classrooms of over 290,000 African primary school pupils in Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe and funded the purchase of 50,237 locally published supplementary books for schools. We have found that when vibrant and up to date books are available children are attracted to reading, then learn to read more easily and that reading confidence helps them in other subjects as well.

In addition to supporting pupils’ reading directly, a well-stocked school library creates a world of new resources for teachers and allows them to teach in an exciting way. For example, we’ve heard about teachers using picture books to teach counting and non-fiction books about topics like volcanos or dinosaurs to enrich science lessons.

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Building international networks around literacy

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Happy International Literacy Day!

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Measuring Reading – a European approach to comparability

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On 16 June during Bologna Children's Book Fair, Aldus Up, the European book fairs network co-founded in the framework of the Creative Europe programme and coordinated by the Italian Publishers Association (AIE) published two studies on existing surveys on translations and reading habits in Europe (the full report is published here).

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The SDG Library: lessons from Norway on inspiring the next generation

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The SDG Book Club was an idea formed through a unique collaboration between the IPA and the United  Nations and involved the full spectrum of the book chain. The idea was simple; to use books as tool to encourage children aged between 6-12 to understand sustainability and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Originally launched in the six official UN languages, the idea was quickly adopted for local markets with the first SDG library established in Norway in 2020. One year on, we invited Kristin Ørjasæter, Managing Director of the Norwegian Institute for Children Books to reflect on the success, to hear about their future plans and advise for others hoping to establish their own SDG library.

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Reading – a Real Superpower

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After two years of being the Executive committee member at the International Publishers Association, I was thrilled to accept the invitation of the chair of IPA’s Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee, Michiel Kolman, to lead the committee’s literacy taskforce.

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SDG Book Club spreads to Indonesia

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Francyne Harrigan, the Director of the UN's Information Centre in Jakarta talks to us about how she brought the UN SDG Book Club initiative to Indonesia with a local twist.

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Taking concrete steps towards the SDG goals: how publishers can contribute.

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Rachel Martin interviews Sherri Aldis, Chief, United Nations Publications.

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New Portuguese language SDG Book Club launched

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As part of Global Goals Week, associations from the Brazilian and Portuguese book sectors came together to announce a new SDG Book Club that will launch in 2021.

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Getting Children to be Part of the Solution: Norway’s Sustainable Library

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An Interview with Ellen Sporstøl and Kristin Orjasater on how Norway is inspiring the next generation of readers to become more sustainable. 

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Shining a spotlight on publishers actions towards the SDGs

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This week is Global Goals Week, an annual week of action, awareness, and accountability for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2020, there is a sense of urgency. We have 10 years to achieve the ambitious targets set by the SDGs and that is short amount of time. At the end of 2019, the UN announced that the world was not on track to meet this target. Furthermore, they issued an urgent call for action to accelerate the partnerships, collaborations and projects that are needed to achieve the goals. 

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IPA Regional Seminar, Amman (day 2): More united than divided

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The second and final day of the IPA Regional Seminar in the Middle East was opened by Sharjah publisher Bodour Al Qasimi (Kalimat Group), who is (among other things) also the IPA Vice-President.

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IPA Regional Seminar, Amman (day 1): Digital disruption to humanitarian action

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When the IPA regional seminar in Amman, Jordan, got underway this morning there was a crackle of promise in the air. This was more than a conference opening – it was like the inauguration of a new bridge spanning the space between the IPA’s global membership and the Arab World.

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