IBNA- Festival of Iranian Reading Promoters is one of the effective programs in promoting reading in Iran. Event is held since 2014 with the participation and support of volunteering individuals and groups.
Participants in this festival are volunteered individuals and groups who focus on promoting reading. In different cities and villages, these people often work voluntarily to promote reading without requesting any help from government agencies. Usually, these people and groups pay for their activities and the expenditure of their activities is provided by popular support.
Selected reading promoters with Minister of Culture
Although, they often operate locally and regionally, their activities are more effective than government agencies. However, the government has tried to play an important role in expanding these activities at the national level by providing more support.
There are two major events associated with the book on the official annual calendar of Iran. The first event is in the middle of the spring and in the framework of “the International Tehran Book Fair” and another one in the middle of the fall at the same time as “the Book Week” would have been held. The focus of activities in “the Book Week” is to promote reading. In addition to providing a comprehensive report on one-year activities of
Governmental and nongovernmental institutions in the field of books, a variety of programs are held throughout the country. In celebration of this week, many NGOs contribute. In recent years, the participation of nongovernmental organizations has dramatically increased.
One of the programs with active participation of NGOs is appreciation of selected individuals and groups in the field of promoting reading and its first round was in 2014.
The festival was held with the aim of identifying, introducing and encouraging the promotion of reading and with the attendance of more than 90 participants (individual and group) in its first round. After the Pathology of the First Festival and according to the experience gained in the first round, the second period held with the participation of more than 450 individuals and groups who presented passionately in a serious competition. And it was decided that the third period would be held with fundamental changes in the run and by a consortium of non-governmental groups who are active in the field of promoting reading.
From the fourth period and with the formation of a network of groups who promotes reading, policy issues and the implementation of this festival have been entrusted to this institution.
The main organizer of the festival is the network of groups who promote reading which is an institution composed of more than 20 non-governmental active groups in promoting reading.
Iranian Library and Scientific Information Society, Book House Institute of Iran and the Institution of Public Libraries also work with the network.
After the Festival recalls, individuals and groups active in promoting reading across the country, prepare the case and send it to the secretariat of the festival and then this case will be judged.
In the first period of the festival there were two sections: A section for individuals and another one for institutions and organizations. From the second period, in addition to the division of the individuals and organizations, a special section was added to the festival.
Book distribution in rural area
Special sections include:
1- Selected Librarians who Promote Reading
2- Selected Bookstores who Promote Reading
3- Featured Kindergartens Promoting Reading
4- Selected Teachers who Promote Reading
This festival has special privileges that distinguish it from other common activities. The most important ones are as follows:
Being nongovernmental: This festival is exclusively focus on popular and voluntary programs that are run by the people.
Creativity in line with local and regional needs: Most of the projects and activities are very local and in line with local capacities, needs and aspirations. Each group has established creative and innovative activities based on their needs, backgrounds and experiences.
Low costs: Most of the festival's projects and activities are "healthy and well-prepared" economically. The projects which are led by charities, and also the programs which are conservative and formed by small cultural-economical activities, are very low cost.
Bold presence of Women and Girls: These groups have proven that women are ahead of men in voluntary and enthusiastic engagement and engagement.
The use of virtual social networks as an opportunity to promote reading: Taking advantage of the capabilities and features of "cyberspace" is the other feature of these activities. So that, in most projects to maintain good communication, websites, blogs, emails and even virtual networks (such as Facebook) and mobile-based virtual networks (such as Viber, Telegram and Instagram) have been used.
This feature finds more importance when we see that many of them have been implemented in remote towns and even rural areas. Moreover, this shows the extends of the capabilities and the range of IT-based activities.
Organized actions in group: While many people (and even experts) claim that in the community the culture of group work among the people has been diminished, plans submitted to the festival show that more than 80% of them are managed in a groups and supported by the people. This is an important point which is expected to be considered in governmental and nongovernmental sector planning.
Focus on children and teenagers: A look at the groups and individuals who involved in promoting reading books and attending the festival shows that the main focus of activities is on children and young adults.
Referees and Arbitration Criteria
The scientific committee of the festival consists of five main members who are selected from experts, professors, and book and reading activists. These referees were from the faculty members or critics, writers, literary prize winners, editors of publications, and pioneers in the field of library and information science.
The criteria include:
- Sustainability in impact
- Creativity and innovation
- Attracting popular participation
- Being volunteering
- Creative use of existing facilities
- Attention to deprived areas
- Consistency with native culture
- Modeling capability
A bakery shop has provided spaces for reading
Some selected groups of festivals:
Vira Cultural Arts Society: For promoting the culture of reading along with implementation of storytelling projects in parks, schools and kindergartens in Ilam province, one of the deprived provinces of Iran.
Children's Literature History Research Institute for program of "Read with Me": For promoting extensive and continuous reading among children of deprived areas and those who live next to borders of our country, performing artistic activities in connection with books and reading, training professional coaches to promote reading.
Book City Institute and Children Literature Research Bimonthly: For preparing lists of winners of Flying Turtle Award, Evaluation of children and teenagers activities in each chapter and compilation of precious books in the list of “Flying Turtle” award and running meetings of signature celebration for books in the bookstore.
Wisdom of Sepahan: Running reading classes for children and young adults, creating groups for promoting reading, conducting the "Children-Book" conferences, holding multiple bookshops in different cities, creating a library or book bag to lend books to elderly people in Isfahan province.
Mehr Award: For organizing dormitory inhabitants of a charity organization to read and evaluate books for preparation of list. The girls managed to run reading sessions, meet writers, and perform several other social and cultural event around books and reading.
Student Book Donation Group: Collecting new and second-hand books from publishers and citizens and distributing them in villages, charities, and support organizations, holding book readings competitions, buying books for children and teenagers through charity activities.
House of Librarian: Assign a residential unit in Tehran as a four-level library for the neighborhood. Creation of two libraries: one for "Child and young adult" and the other for "Family", conducting periodical exhibitions, teaching correct reading and enjoying reading, performing storytelling and familiarizing with traditional Iranian spaces, providing advice and guidance for setting up a library.
Children's Cultural Development Center: The establishment of 15 libraries in deprived villages and rural areas. Equip and activate dozens of existing libraries, teaching families and teachers to manage local libraries
White House Rainbow Group: this group from Isfahan province has focused on reading among elders, positive motivation to aging and empowering the elders and strengthening the bond between the young and old generation
Nakhlak Group (Abadan): for doing most of its activities in deprived areas conduct cultural and reading programs for nearly 3,000 students (in groups of five). In each program, one of the famous poets of the country is also accompanied students.
Citizenship Education Center for Development (Planting): This center is one of the most active groups in Ahvaz which has had many activities in the field of promoting book reading. The most important of these activities is the equipping of libraries in deprived areas of Khuzestan, conducting campaigns to promote books, and holding meetings for book critique and promotion of book reading.
Nick Gaman–e-jamashid Charity Association: This association has implemented coherent programs to promote reading in the province of Bushehr.
- Their activities includes: the launch of a campaign to equip 30 schools in deprived areas
- Efforts to make libraries in deprived areas and villages in Bushehr
- Establishing a library equipping campaign
- Equipping 30 schools through popular encouragement
- Installing bookshelves in school and attracting the views of charitable people for its resources.