Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay named Tbilisi as World Book Capital for the year 2021, based on the recommendation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee, which met in Switzerland in June 2019.
Around the slogan — “Ok, So your Next Book Is…?,” the program focuses on the use of modern technologies as powerful tools for promoting reading among youth.
The program is comprised of several important, large-scale and sustainable activities. Amongst the events and activities, there will be libraries and a book festival for children, a state-of-the-art digital project for transforming books into games, and the rebuilding of the first Georgian publishing house.
Specifically designed for children, youngsters and readers who have limited access to books, the activity program will be driven by innovation. The city’s principal objective is to popularize reading and increase accessibility to books for all social levels.
The year of celebrations will start on 23 April 2021, on the World Book and Copyright Day. Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capitals undertake to promote books and reading and to organize activities over the year.
Tbilisi will be the 21st city to bear the title since 2001. The World Book Capital for 2019 is the city of Sharjah of the United Arab Emirates city, while for 2020 – Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia).
Past winners include Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Anvers (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam(2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Erevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016), Conakry (2017) and Athens (2018).
The Advisory Committee for nominating the World Book Capital city is made up of representatives of the International Publisher’s Association (IPA), the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and UNESCO.