The Polish Book Institute is a national cultural institution. We were established by the Ministry of Culture to promote Polish literature worldwide and to popularise books as well as reading within the country.
We try to do everything we can: we inform, we encourage, we convince: translators of Polish literature to translate Polish books, foreign publishers to publish these translations, and the organisers of all sorts of literary events all over the world to invite Polish authors to take part in them. And when they are prepared to do so, we help them to make it happen. Thanks to the financial support which we provide through the ©Poland Translation Programme, in recent years, almost 1800 translations of Polish books have been published abroad, including works by Miłosz, Herbert, Szymborska, Kapuściński, Tokarczuk, Stasiuk, Sapkowski, Krajewski, Miłoszewski, Chmielarz, and many others.
Yet, this is not all we do: the Library Infrastructure programme, whose strategic goal is to transform community libraries in places of up to 50,000 inhabitants into modern centres of access to knowledge and culture, is implemented within the National Programme for the Development of Reading and is our response to the need for a radical improvement in the state of public libraries in Poland.
For Poland’s libraries, we have also developed the new MAK+ system for cataloguing their collections, enabling them to carry out all sorts of operations to do with cataloguing and lending. Finally, we have helped to establish Book Discussion Clubs all over Poland. At the moment, more than 1700 of them are in operation!
One of the pillars of the Institute is also the campaign "Little Book - Great Man", which reminds us of the benefits of reading together in a family from the first months of a child's life. It was devised in connection with a nationwide campaign, as part of which young parents will receive unique Reading Layettes in maternity wards. The campaign also includes a pilot project for three-year-olds, which started in September 2018. The aim is to encourage parents to visit libraries and read daily with their children.
The Institute is also co-organising Read PL, a readership promotion campaign in Poland, during which the participants have already read about 280,000 books. The campaign is accompanied by an original project "Hunt your book". Thanks to this initiative, students were involved in the promotion of reading, and posters giving access to bestsellers appeared in thousands of secondary schools.
For the past thirteen years, we have been administering the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s grant programmes in the area of literature, and since April 2010, we have also been publishing some of Poland’s oldest and most highly regarded cultural periodicals, including Nowe Książki (“New Books”), Twórczość (“Creativity”), Literatura na Świecie (“World Literature”), Dialog and Odra.
In addition, we run a service devoted to the activities of the Book Institute and the programmes it implements. At www.instytutksiazki.pl, every day, you can find a selection of the latest literary news, biodata of nearly 250 Polish contemporary authors, information about over 2200 books published in recent years, interviews with writers and translators, addresses of publishers and literary agencies - all in Polish and English.