The Joy of Reading Award is an international award intended to recognise initiatives or projects that encourage citizens to read. 

Access to information and the fight against illiteracy are very important, and the United Nations’ 2030 goals with regard to education therefore also form the basis for this award.

Read: "There is a growing awareness about the importance of reading"

Illiteracy is a global problem that must be addressed. We want to highlight the work of different projects that are helping to make a difference. This goes hand in hand with Systematic corporate values about contributing to society.

Joyofreading Text

The award

The award is etablished by Systematic in collaboration with Next Library® – a conference at which library professionals from around the world meet every two years. The award will be handed over again in June 2021 at the Next Library in Aarhus, Denmark. Learn more about Next Library 2021.

The award is accompanied by a $10.000 cash money prize and is awarded by an international jury, who will assess all the applications received, select the nominees and the eventual winner. 

The award was presented for the very first time in 2017 at the Next Library Conference in Denmark by Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, founder of The Reading and Writing Foundation. In June 2019, the award was presented by the President of IFLA, Glòria Pérez-Salmerón.


We are now open for applications! 

To be considered for the award, please fill in this application form in full detail in english. Please note the criteria for participating in the assessment.

The application period runs from January 15, 2021 - until April 1, 2021.

All applications and questions must be sent to
We look forward to receiving your submissions! 



Criteria for entering a submission:

  • Joy of reading has to be an important part of the initiative
  • The effect of the initiative must be documented by number of people reached and either a case story or research
  • The initiative must make use of innovative methods and/or thinking
  • The initiative must have been up and running for at least two years

Systematic - Joy of Reading Award Jury consists of:

  • Marian Morgan-Bindon, Executive Freelance Librarian and long serving IFLA section member, Australia. Chair of the Jury for the Systematic - Joy of Reading Award.
  • Kirsten Boelt, Head of Aalborg Public Libraries, Denmark
  • Magdeline Mooketsi, Principal Library Officer, Gaborone Public Library, Botswana
  • Sanjana Shrestha, Executive Director, READ Global
  • Stacie Ledden, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Anythink Libraries, Denver US
  • Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, Group Senior Vice President i Systematic, Denmark.

Legal notice for submitting an application

Data and materials will be handled in accordance with Systematic's data policy, which you can find described in detail here.

If you have any questions, please contact us here