This call for applications is held every year by the Slovenian Public Library Association and the Slovenian Association of Municipalities and Towns in cooperation with the Slovenian Ministry of Culture. The Reading-Friendly Municipality Certificate is awarded to municipalities that stand out by successfully promoting the participation and inclusion of the local community and cultivating reading as a fundamental social value. By participating in the Reading-Friendly Municipality project, public libraries, in close cooperation with their municipalities (their founders), highlight the society-wide responsibility towards reading as a value. The Reading-Friendly Municipality project encourages municipalities to read more and better. It promotes the interest in reading of all generations and strives to provide better access to books as mediators of the most important values and as fundamental sources of knowledge. The basic idea behind the project is that the entire community must participate in the development of reading literacy and culture because a reading culture is a combination of ideas, values, norms, content and messages that the local community shapes in all its forms and is an important part of the human capital concept connected with the social and economic success of the individual and society as a whole. The call for applications thus seeks to encourage local communities to comprehensively and strategically implement the vision of spreading awareness of the importance of reading and to use innovative approaches to stimulate reading promotion programmes and projects and hence connect residents of various generations and different organisations. Libraries also play an active role in the development policy because, through their experiences in managing diverse data, they significantly contribute to a better life for current and future generations and to maintaining a healthy living environment, thereby also significantly contributing to the goals of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
The Reading-Friendly Municipality project contributes to the realisation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions because a high-quality library network and a well-developed reading culture form the infrastructural basis for developing reader creativity in solving problems at the personal, family, professional and social levels.
The project's main goals include: establishing a positive public image of reading, improving awareness of the importance of reading, supporting the development and implementation of reading and literacy promotion programmes and projects at the local level intended for various target groups, promoting and coordinating reading promotion programmes and projects, encouraging residents to accept the local strategic documents that promote reading and the development of a reading culture, encouraging municipalities to adopt best practice examples to create an effective social environment for promoting reading and the development of a reading culture, promoting systemic investment in reading promotion and the planned development of a reading culture at the local level, and connecting institutions in implementing reading, reading literacy and reading culture projects (including public libraries).
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