Prof. Piotr Gliński, “A child should be in contact with reading every day". Report from the press conference devoted to the third edition of the campaign “Small Book - Great Man”

Today, at 2 p.m., the Municipal Public Library in Brzeziny hosted a press conference devoted to the new edition of the Book Institute's campaign "Small Book - Great Man". The conference was attended by Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Piotr Gliński, Director of the Book Institute Dariusz Jaworski, illustrator Józef Wilkoń - the author of illustrations for Pierwsze czytanki dla… (“First Readings for...”), and Małgorzata Małyska, Chairwoman of the Foundation for Education POLIS. Everyone emphasised the benefits of reading together with children, expressing the hope that such a wide-reaching campaign will contribute to the improvement of readership in Poland, especially among parents.

The guests and journalists were welcomed at the conference by the spokesman of the Book Institute, Łukasz Jarocki. Afterwards, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Gliński, spoke:

“Reading is extremely important. Not only does it provide knowledge, but it also creates sensitivity and testifies to our intellectual resources in the long term. That is why we are conducting a great National Programme for the Development of Readership in Poland, for which 700 million Zlotys have been allocated. This Programme includes support for reading infrastructure: about 200 libraries were financed from it. In addition, 16 million books were purchased through the Programme.”

"In addition to the National Programme for the Development of Readership, we launched the campaign ‘Small Book - Great Man’. That's a total of almost 20 million in three years. The Book Institute has already distributed 600,000 books to children. Now, we are going to distribute the book First Readings for..., which was beautifully illustrated by Józef Wilkoń," said Minister Gliński, emphasising that this is only the second stage of the campaign and that another, third book is currently being prepared - this time for schoolchildren.

"A child should be in contact with reading every day. I myself, even though I don't have time, I read Pierwsze wiersze… (“First Poems...”), and I will read the First Readings for...," he added at the end.

After the Minister Gliński's speech, Dariusz Jaworski, Director of the Book Institute, spoke:

"There are going to be three books. We create them within a relational triangle: the child, the parents, and the child's environment. At first, it's a house, then a kindergarten, and finally a school. Thinking about it in this way, we made an attempt to base the whole organisational system on libraries. We have published First Poems..., now First Readings… are coming out, and at this moment, experts are working on the next book.

Director Jaworski noted that the downward trend in reading in Poland has been halted, yet "reading statistics between the ages of 25 and 45 do not look good". Often, these are the parents, and therefore "coming to the library with a parent is an element of an extortion" on the parents, to make them return to books. The first edition of First Readings for... is 300,000 copies.

“We do not have any universities that prepare parents for parenthood," noted Małgorzata Małyska, an expert. “How to support a child in their development? What should a parent do with a child in order to prepare them for life? You can do anything with a book. If we leave the whole world behind, if we only stay with a book and a child, then the child will remember this moment for longer. Reading will, of course, translate into the child's school successes. It is in the books that there are heroes with whom the child can identify in an unusual and incomparable way.

Małgorzata Małyska introduced the contents of First Readings for..., as well as the booklets Książką połączeni, czyli przedszkolak idzie do biblioteki (“Connected by a Book: a Preschooler Goes to the Library”). The book First Readings for... includes works by masters and leading contemporary authors, including Joanna Papuzińska, Wanda Chotomska, Joanna Kulmowa, Zofia Stanecka, and Grzegorz Kasdepke.

Finally, the eminent artist, author of illustrations for First Readings for..., Józef Wilkoń, spoke:

"It wasn't easy for me. With the Tigers, I did it in a few ticks, but let's take Brykczyński's poem Polska (“Poland”) - it's a text that sounds very real and is very difficult. It's difficult to synthesise, to include all of it. I needed to search for a key to this.”

At the end, Tamara Arciuch and Bartłomiej Kasprzykowski read the works of Polish masters to the preschoolers.