UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) has picked Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur to succeed Sharjah as World Book Capital in 2020.
The title is currently held by Athens, which will concede the title to the UAE’s Sharjah for 2019.
In a statement Unesco said Malaysia’s capital was selected because of the city’s strong focus on inclusive education; its ongoing development of a knowledge-based society; and it’s population’s easy access to reading materials.
Well, not that easy, perhaps. Try buying ebooks there from Amazon, Apple or Nook…
But on the other hand Kuala Lumpur is home to the world’s biggest book sale, Big Bad Wolf, so…
But the key point is Kuala Lumpur’s aspirations in the fields of literacy and literature. The Malaysia event, which starts April 23, 2020, will be known locally as KL Baca.
’KL Baca – caring through reading’ will focus on four themes: reading in all its forms; development of the book industry’s infrastructure; reading material inclusiveness and digital accessibility; and the empowerment of children through reading.
Events and activities (planned) include the construction of a book city (the Kota Buku Complex); a reading campaign for train commuters; the enhancement of digital services and accessibility for the disabled by the National Library of Malaysia; and new digital services for 12 libraries in poor housing areas of Kuala Lumpur.