New National Reading Support Strategy 2017-2022

At the Government session held on November 2, 2017, the National Reading Support Strategy was adopted for the period from 2017 to 2022. The strategy will contribute to the development of the reading culture and allow as many members of society to read with pleasure and understanding.

The decline in interest in books and reading and the changes driven by the digital environment requires a systematical and strategic program to deal with the issue. Since there has never been a strategy for the development of literacy and reading culture in Croatia, it has become necessary to draw up a document that will link and coordinate the effects of all factors from authors, through books to readers.

The vision of the Strategy states: “Croatian society understands the role of reading in the development of an individual and society and the specificity of reading at a certain age, accordingly acts and accepts the responsibility for encouraging reading” will be realized during the next five years by implementing activities and projects through the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy 2017-2022, with three key strategic objectives:

(1) establishment of an effective social framework that supports reading
(2) the development of reading literacy and encouragement of readers to actively and critically read
(3) increase in the availability of books and other reading materials

The goals of the Strategy will be implemented, within the period foreseen for its implementation, through 15 specific objectives and 42 measures, to provide mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating its effects, in order to establish a systematic social framework for reading support.

Scientific research will be carried out to bring new insights important to encourage reading, to establish a system of information distribution, to encourage cross-sectoral connectivity and collaboration of all institutional and non-institutional participants in the scope of encouraging reading.

Ensuring the availability of books and other reading materials is a strategic goal that is achieved by systematically investing in writers, illustrators and translators and their activities, by supporting publishing and bookstore activities, increasing the production and availability of books through all types of libraries, increasing the production and availability of reading materials for people with reading difficulties, investing in new titles, availability and visibility of e-books and other free digital content.

Funds needed to implement the National Reading Support Strategy are ensured in the state budget of the Republic of Croatia for the year 2017 and projected for 2018 and 2019 in the departments of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Science and Education. Funding is also planned through the European Social Fund funds under the Operational Program for Effective Human Resources 2014-2020.