Country literacy reports

Country Reports IFLA 2014 Lyon


Australia, European Library Network, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Réunion Island, Russia, United Kingdom



Presented by Barbara Combes

2014 events and resources:

  • Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), annual – National Simultaneous Storytime, 21 May. Aims include the promotion of the value of reading and literacy using an Australian children’s book that explores age appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Grades F to 6 and the pre-school Early Learning Years Framework. 2014 title: Too many Elephants in this house.
  • Partners in Literacy – forum and workshop, hosted by the state library WA 11 June 2014. Aims – to develop a literacy framework to support the building of resilient partnerships between stakeholders and providers across all sectors involved in literacy education in Western Australia. Includes using the public library network and Better Beginnings partnerships to provide a focus for the project. Follow-up data gathering by the State Library conducted 7-19 August. This is an ongoing project.
  • State Library WA – Better Beginnings, ongoing. Includes programs for a range of age levels, research on the Better Beginnings program, and literacy and reading, resources for parents and children.

The Commonwealth Government of Australia conducts national literacy and numeracy tests (NAPLAN) at grade levels 3, 5, 7 and 9. Literacy levels have continued to fall over the last 30 years despite initiatives by the States and the Commonwealth governments. Under the NAPLAN testing regime, results also indicate that literacy levels consistently fall between Year 3 (8 YOs) and Year 9 (14 YOs). In Year 3 40-60% of students scoring below the minimum national average are indigenous children located in remote locations in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Current statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that 44+% of Australians between the ages of 18-90 have literacy levels at or below level 2. Level 3 is considered to be the minimum level required to succeed in high school.

In the 15-34 age group for culturally and linguistically diverse adults who speak English as a first language, 36% are working below level two, while the figure rises to 50% for adults from a non-English speaking background. These results are almost identical for the 35-54 age group, with the figure for non-English speaking background at 55%.

Despite continued efforts by government, schools and other organisations, literacy levels in Australia have not improved and in many aces seem to be going backward. In spite of research telling us for the last 40 years how important reading and libraries in all sectors are for improved literacy rates, the public library system and education systems in Australia continue to cut funding and support for libraries and professional staff.



Presented by Sabine Uehlein

The mission of Stiftung Lesen is to ensure that every child and adult in Germany develops crucial reading and media skills, and enjoys reading, as the ability to read is the basis of the ability to learn, and generating pleasure in reading generates chances in life, and quite simply because reading is fun.

Situation in Germany

  • 5 million people are functional illiterates;
  • 5% of the 15-year old have difficulties in reading and writing;
  • 5%of the people between 16 and 65 years are only able to understand the simplest texts;
  • 000 pupils leave schools without graduation; and
  • 15 bn. Euro consequential charges arise during the next 10 years.

What we do

  • advocate for reading and media competency;
  • scientific research, political recommendations and programs;
  • pilot and research projects;
  • early infant development in the family; and
  • projects at school or outside school.

We create movement!

  • 800,000 children are enthralled each year by the current gift book I will make you a gift of a story on World Book Day on 23rd April.
  • 200,000 Reading Friends books were given to adults as a gift on World Book Day 2014.
  • Providing a network for 150,000 volunteers, actively involved in reading and storytelling.
  • 3,500 young people campaign for reading as reading scouts in schools.
  • 36,000 teachers from all types of schools are actively involved in the Stiftung Lesen’s teachers’ club.
  • 5 million young families receive Reading Starter Sets by 2018.
  • 400,000 youth receive more than 1,5 million magazines due to the project Magazines in schools.
  • 18 million books arrived in families with children during several Happy-Meal Book Campaigns.
  • Well-known reading ambassadors enthrall children and young people.

National Reading Day

Annual event on the 3rd Friday in November is the largest reading festival in Germany. It involves almost 100.000 voluntary readers, ethuses over one million listeners and thus strengthens reading culture in Germany.

Consequently the National Reading Day is the Stiftung Lesen project that generates most media attention.

We are part of:

EU READ – A consortium of European reading promotion organizations, exchanging knowledge, experiences and concepts, developing new strategies for the promotion of reading


  • European literacy network of 79 partner organizations from 28 European countries
  • Exchanging policy approaches, good practice, and initiatives
  • Raising awareness of the importance of literacy
  • Funding Institution European Commission, General Directorate Education and Culture

Topics we are focused on:

  • Digital Reading as empowerment of reading promotion
  • Reading and Movement: conceptions to combine two topics which are underdeveloped for a lot of children and youngsters
  • Reading and demographic change: changing societies, changing needs, changing volunteers


Contact Person: Sabine Uehlein, Managing Director Programs and Projects, Stiftung Lesen

Römerwall 40, D-55131 Mainz

Tel.: +49 6131 2889024, email:



Presented by Ingrid Bon

National Programs for all age groups by CPNB (cooperation between publishers, booksellers and VOB, National Public Library Organization) put in a calendar:

  • National Reading Aloud days (baby and toddlers) (last week January)
  • Poetry week (1st week of February)
  • Book Week (adults) (2d week of March)
  • Netherlands Children’s Jury (March-June)
  • Children’s Book Week (October)
  • Netherlands Reads (November)
  • Fathers for reading (2014)
  • Several Literary Prizes for children’s literature and adults

Special Themes like:

  • Spirituality (January)
  • Sports books (3d week of April)
  • Audio books (3d week of May)
  • Exiting books (thrillers and detectives) (June)
  • Summer reading (adults) (July/August)
  • History (October)

Besides these programs public library have their own library activities:

  • Program for 0-4 (Boekstart, Boekenpret, VoorleesExpress, Boekstart in de Kinderopvang);
  • Program for primary school: Library at school;
  • Program for secondary school: Library at school VO;
  • National Reading Aloud Competition (children from grade 6,7,8; age 10-12);
  • Read2Me (reading aloud competition first grade secondary school); and
  • National Reading aloud Competition for future teachers, students.

On several levels there is a sense of urgency on illiteracy and low literacy.

Libraries working together with municipalities, Foundation Reading and Writing and working places.


Russian Federation

Presented by Yulia Melentyeva

Key initiatives related to reading and literacy, implemented in Russia in 2014.

  1. In Russia,2014was announcedat the state levelas the Year of Culture.

In this regard, the problem of reading, as an integral part of the culture was recognised as of high importance. Across the country, throughout the year, especially in the big cities campaigns were run (ongoing) in support of reading. these included Time to Read, To Live and Read, Reading is Fashionable, Read! Think! Create! and others. These campaigns involved not only libraries, but also schools, bookstores, theatres, museums, parks (eg. park them, Gorky, ENEA), Metro, ground transportation and media, including electronic media and the Internet. Subjects related to reading, were woven in all the significant events of the country, such as the celebration of City Day, Victory Day and the first of September.

  1. Work onthe creationof referencelists ofOne Hundred Books – an initiative put forward by President Putin in 2012.

On the Internet, there is a debate that should be included in these lists, on what grounds, etc. At the local level in cities, towns, creative unions (writers, journalists, and others.) proposals for specific recommendations of lists of authors and there works works. Work is also an analysis of the positive and negative aspects of organized reading.

  1. May2014. PetersburgInternationalBook Salon

This event was attended by dozens of countries, included 200 different events, and was attended by Russian and foreign publishers, booksellers, librarians, writers, parents and ordinary readers. Among the organizers was the Russian Library Association, Russian Reading Association, the Scientific Research Centre of Book Culture Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific Council for Reading (RAW), almost all the libraries of St. Petersburg, SPburgsky University and dr.organizatsii .This was quite a momentous see strany.http: / /

  1. ScientificCouncil forReadingRAW

RAW has actively maintained ongoing scientific research in this area since 2010. This group held a round table on the theme The situation is reading today. Reading in the culture of everyday life. This eventis verysignificant, because the discussionhighlights some ofthe most importanttheoretical aspects ofreadingthatin turn,have a verypronouncedpracticalapplication.The emphasis onthe theoreticalaspects ofreadingallowedthe headof the ScientificCenterfor Readingof the RussianAcademy of Sciences, member ofthe IFLA Standing Committee ofthe Literacyand Reading Section, Doctor, ProfessorYulia Melentevoy toform aresearch teamand beginwork on the “Dictionary” on the issue ofreading.The implementation of thismassive task, will be useful notonlyto Russian researchers.

  1. Significant eventsin different cities ofRussia:

The Yekaterinburg library Gorky was a momentous event: readers independently collected 10,000 to a library catalog E-Readers.

  • March, 2014, The book and reading in the cultural space of Russia, the Committee on Culture of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the Russian Book Union and the Russian Library Association, round-table

March, 2014, The concept of support and reading development in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia): first results, problems and prospects of implementation, in the National Library of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), scientific and practical conference,

May 2014, Reading in the XXI century: traditions and trends (to the 115th anniversary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Universal Scientific Library, Belinsky), was held in Yekaterinburg Russia scientific-practical conference

The phenomenon of literary anniversary: pro

0 Responses to “Country literacy reports”

Comments are currently closed.