Travelling Library

Promoting reading and creativity in rural locations through public readings, arts and crafts workshops and a travelling library.

The Local Challenge

According to official figures, Romania is at the bottom of the pile in Europe when it comes to the number of books read each year. Only 4% of Romanians read daily and less than 10% read once a month. One in five Romanians confirms that they have never read an entire book. The most common reason cited is lack of time. Sălaj County Library has been tackling this issue by introducing a Books on Streets initiative in 20 rural locations across the county and now wants to scale up this successful project.  


 The Initiative  

Over the course of seven months, this initiative is travelling to 40 rural localities across the county to run open-air public reading sessions for children and creative workshops, using engaging new techniques to encourage children to express themselves freely and share their own ideas, helping to boost their self-confidence. Books from the project will also feed a Travelling Library for children and community members. By highlighting the role of libraries, the initiative aims to spur local authorities to invest in these vital public institutions. It is hoped that more than 3,000 children from rural areas will engage with librarians, writers and their parents, discovering the transformative power of reading and art.  


What’s Next?

Because the learning activities are especially designed for groups, children are increasing their capacity to collaborate and communicate effectively in a team, all while having fun. Lessons learned are being documented to create an online kit in both English and Romanian for easy replication in other similar contexts. The activities carried out within the project are becoming part of the regular programming offer in some of the communities, particularly those without library services. As well as improving public reading services and encouraging reading, the initiative also carries out advocacy at the local government level, with the aim of helping to restore local libraries.  


This is an ongoing Europe Challenge project that will be completed in autumn 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and contact if you have any questions or want to be connected with the team behind the project.

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