Professional Advisory Board starts work

With members representing the book industry and reading culture organisations, the newly established Board helps embed both traditional ideas and bottom-up initiatives within the strategy of the World Book Capital application.

The Professional Advisory Board was formed on 16 December 2020. After welcoming the participants to the formal on-line meeting, Deputy Mayor Erzsébet Gy. Németh spoke about how the world would no longer be the same after the pandemic. We are facing new trends and new opportunities in all areas including reading and book culture as well as its promotion, across the entire world of books. 2023 is going to be a special year when, we hope, the entire Globe will be paying attention to us and when we as World Book Capital can build bridges between continents and generations, and between reading itself and the generations of readers.

The General Assembly of Budapest gave the responsibility for preparing the application to the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library.
Director-General of the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library Dr Péter Fodor, who is also chairman of the programme council responsible for preparing the application, explained that the Professional Advisory Board was producing a thorough and robust application laying the foundations for joined-up thinking and mutual action both professionally and personally; this is much needed in Hungarian book culture, which faces many difficulties in spite of its long-standing traditions.

‘If we win the title of World Book Capital, we will bring a global event to Hungary’, said László Z. Karvalics, chairman of the Communication and Information Committee of the Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO. As a global festival with hundreds of locations, events and guests, it would both be a national cause and have a major potential impact on tourism, even as it has to respond to the civilizational challenges resulting from the pandemic in 2020.

Work on the application has only just started, but countless ideas and suggestions have already been proposed. All members of the Professional Advisory Board believe that it would be important and serve as a great opportunity if the entire world were to focus its attention on our country, capital city and book culture in the year of the 150th jubilee of Budapest. The preparatory work will continue during the end-of-year period as well, with requests for cooperation to many additional partners over the next few weeks.