Plans for World Book Night 2014 were announced today along with the news that World Book Night will become part of The Reading Agency as one of our programmes.
Army of volunteers
As in previous years, World Book Night 2014 will be celebrated on April 23, UNESCO International Day of the Book. Over time, We intend to use 'community people power' to mobilise the World Book Night army of volunteers who champion reading in their local communities, not just on World Book Night but throughout the year- aiming for 100,000 volunteers by 2017.
World Book Night has operated as an independent charity since it was launched in 2011, in partnership with us and the BBC. Since then an extraordinary army of 46,000 volunteers have given books to more than 2 million people on World Book Night. The BBC is a founding partner of World Book Night and the BBC's relationship with World Book Night will be led by Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for Arts.
In 2014, 250,000 World Book Night editions (12,500 copies of 20 titles) will be given by a network of volunteer reading enthusiasts and institutions focusing on reaching the 35.2% of the population who don't read for pleasure. In a drive to widen volunteer participation, World Book Night 2014 will launch a new feature. Community book givers will commit to, at the very least, giving a single book on April 23. These volunteers will be responsible for their own book, either taking it from their book shelves, or buying it new or second-hand. Branded stickers and book plates will be available from participating bookshops and libraries or online. Hundreds of events will also be held across the country in libraries, bookshops and community centres. World Book Night's monthly consumer book club and the Homeless Book Club will continue as normal. (Above, young Reading Activists with their chosen 2013 World Book Night titles.)
The application process to become a World Book Night volunteer will open on November 23, and the 20 titles will be announced on the same day. The list will consist of five to six Quick Reads, five to six Young Adult books and eight to ten general fiction and non-fiction titles to create a balanced list of appealing, enjoyable and very accessible books. Publishers are being asked to submit titles, and the final list will be chosen by an editorial committee made up of experts across the literacy and literary worlds.
Staff and funding
We've recruited a new project manager to work exclusively on World Book Night. Sandy Mahal will support on relationships with the book trade, and Genevieve Clarke will support on the adult literacy aspect of World Book Night. Julia Kingsford will be working closely with us until January to help integrate and implement World Book Night. FMcM Associates will continue to handle PR. (Pictured left are Genevieve Clarke, Judith Shipman, Julia Kingsford, Miranda McKearney and Sandy Mahal)
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Foyle Foundation are both generously providing direct grants for World Book Night 2014.
Miranda McKearney said: "We're honoured to be World Book Night's new home. We all owe Julia Kingsford and World Book Night's trustees a huge vote of thanks for creating a quite remarkable volunteer army of reading enthusiasts. The Reading Agency intends to grow that army into a pivotal force for social change, reaching and inspiring the people who right now don't enjoy reading."
Jamie Byng, Managing Director, Canongate said: "World Book Night has always been about promoting books and reading for pleasure amongst those who rarely read. By becoming part of such a dynamic, established and similarly aligned organisation as The
Reading Agency, I feel very optimistic about World Book Night's future and the ongoing impact it can make both here in the UK and around the world."
Julia Kingsford, CEO, World Book Night said: "I couldn't be happier to see World Book Night become part of The Reading Agency, and I'm excited to see how this will enable the work it does to reach and inspire more new readers than ever before as well as build an even bigger army of volunteers. It has never been more important to engage the third of people in the UK who don't read and I'm enormously proud of the role I've played in establishing this incredible celebration of books and reading."
Ursula Mackenzie, CEO Little, Brown Book Group said: "The Reading Agency has been a wonderful partner from the start and I'm excited to see what happens next for World Book Night under its stewardship."
Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House UK said: "I am delighted World Book Night has found a new home with The Reading Agency. World Book Night's annual people's army supported by the year-round dedication of The Reading Agency creates a real force to be reckoned with. Together they can do great things to encourage people who don't read to share our passion for books and stories. Congratulations! "
Patrick Neale, co-owner, Jaffé & Neale Bookshop & Café and President of the Booksellers Association said: "As a bookseller and BA president I have been a huge fan of World Book Night. I am delighted that The Reading Agency will take World Book Night to thousands of new participants."
David Nichols, author of One Day said: "I've loved World Book Night's annual celebration of the written word in all its forms, and The Reading Agency does great and tireless work throughout the year in promoting the work of libraries and building the confidence of readers young and old. Both organisations are wonderful ambassadors, pressing books into the hands of those who've lost the habit of reading, or perhaps never had it. I wish them luck in all their future endeavours."
Tony Durcan, Society of Chief Librarians, said: "Public Libraries and The Reading Agency work so well together to help more people to read, and to read more. World Book Night is such an exciting event for all of us...and our readers. We are so pleased that The Reading Agency is to take the lead role in the event, and the opportunity that creates for us all to raise the profile of reading for pleasure even more. We're already counting down to 23 April - we can't wait!"
Plans for 2014
- November 23: Announce titles and open application
- January 23: Application closes for givers for centrally produced books, community book giver application will remain open
- February 23: Successful givers will be informed
- Early April: Books will be delivered to bookshop and library collection points along with stickers and book plates for one book givers
Visit the site again on November 23 to find out more about becoming a World Book Night giver for 2014.