Six literacy projects shortlisted for Systematic’s Joy of Reading Award

Six inspiring reading initiatives from three different continents are nominated for the $10.000 Joy of Reading Award. The award is to be presented by the President of The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, on the 2nd of June in Aarhus, Denmark.

01 May 2019

Pressemeddelelse _nominerede

It was not an easy task for the international jury to shortlist just six nominees out of the 28 applications received for Systematic’s Joy of Reading Award.

Group Senior Vice President of Systematic and member of the jury, Martin Brøchner-Mortensen, is pleased that so many great projects found their way to the jury’s table. He admits that the selection of the six nominees was difficult.

“We have reviewed applications from organisations all over the world who are dedicated to inspiring their communities to enjoy reading. The 28 applications came from 10 different countries and the level of innovation and creativity among the applicants was incredible,” says Martin Brøchner-Mortensen.

The Joy of Reading Award is an international accolade intended to recognise initiatives or projects that encourage citizens to read and discover the joy of reading.

The six shortlisted projects are from South Africa (2), Kenya, Germany, Ghana and Australia, and Martin Brøchner-Mortensen is happy to see that innovative literacy projects are to be found all over the world.

The winner will be announced on Saturday the 2nd of June at the International Library Conference, which is being held at DOKK1 in Aarhus. President for The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, will present the award.

The jury consists of international scientists and library managers who were chosen based on their expertise in literacy and reading. 

The Chairman of the Jury is Marian Morgan-Bindon, Manager of the library service at Oxfordshire County Council in the UK, and to her enjoyment in reading is essential to achieve quality education.

“Illiteracy is a problem that needs to be addressed regardless of where in the world it exists. The ability to read is an important prerequisite to gain knowledge and understanding of the world, and to develop as a human being. Reading skills empowers people in many ways, and we should all do what we can to promote the joy of reading,” she says.

Joyofreading Text

The importance of reading

The Joy of Reading Award is in line with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals for education, where the target is to achieve literacy and numeracy for all youth by 2030.

Systematic established the Joy of Reading Award as it goes hand-in-hand with the company’s corporate values to contribute to society and make a difference.

“Our Cicero software is implemented in almost every single library in Denmark and in several other countries. We are proud of making software that supports the availability of literature and quality education – but not all places have libraries – and that is why we want to encourage initiatives like those nominated for this award,” says CEO of Systematic, Michael Holm.

About the award

The award was established by Systematic in collaboration with Next Library® – a biennial conference for library professionals from around the world – and will be presented again in June 2019 at the Next Library conference in Aarhus, Denmark.

The award is accompanied by a $10.000 prize and the winner is selected by an international jury, who will assess all the applications received.

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands – founder of the Reading and Writing Foundation – presented the inaugural award at Next Library 2017.

Read about the 2017 winner: FunDza Literacy Trust, South Africa.

The nominees for the Joy of Reading Award are:

African Storebook, South Africa

The African Storybook addresses the widespread challenge of low literacy in schools in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. The project works with local educators to develop, publish and make storybooks and support material available for children. With thousands of openly licensed picture storybooks in languages of Africa, the African Storybook website strives to improve children’s literacy, enjoyment and imagination.

Australian Reading Hour, Australia

Australian Reading Hour aims to help people discover and rediscover the joy of reading and to understand that literacy is an essential life skill and catalyst for well-being. By organizing book tours and reading events with authors in Australia’s remote countryside, the project brings together, not only parents and their children, but also authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians and others to promote the joy and benefits of reading for all ages. 


EDU’KENYA’s mobile library is working on improving reading culture by creating access to reading books in schools. Story books, novels and fairytales are donated from European countries, such as France and England, and are, once a month, delivered to schools in Kenya. By giving the children an opportunity to choose, which book to read, it will encourage them to enjoy reading in their everyday lives.

Nal'ibali Reading for Enjoyment Campaign, South Africa

Nal’ibali Reading for Enjoyment Campaign strengthens young people’s literacy by focusing on the reading culture in homes and in communities. Adults have a large impact on young people and can help to make reading and storytelling an important part of their daily lives. Thereby, parents can help to improve children’s reading and writing skills. The Nal’ibali team works to inspire mass participation in national awareness raising activities and also in small-scale interpersonal engagements like reading clubs. 

OSU Children's Library Fund, Ghana

The OSU Children’s Library Fund gives people in Ghana easy access to books in their everyday life. Since the project first started in 1990 with weekly reading sessions for six children with only a few books available, the project has built and furnished eight libraries. Furthermore, the project also promotes various programs, where joy of reading and culture can be experienced, such as theatres, art, computer and literacy classes, author visits and community workshops. The project creates safe and fun settings under the guidance of a caring librarian, to inspire children to enjoy reading.

The Travelling Reading Sofa, Germany

A bilingual reading sofa, a grandma lamp and a box of books are travelling the county and engaging citizens to come together and enjoy the reading of fairytales. The Travelling Reading Sofa reaches immigrated and inborn citizens of Bremen, by translating international favorite fairytales into the audience’s mother tongue and also creating the right setting for reading and discussing such fairytales. 

Learn more about the Joy Of Reading award here

For further information please contact PR & Communication Manager
Maia Lindstrøm Sejersen
Mobile: +45 41 96 50 13