Naujienos iliustracija 26 February 2024

The National Library of Lithuania took part in the 24th Vilnius International Book Fair

On 22-25 February the International Vilnius Book Fair, the largest Baltic literary festival, took place at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO.

The event, which has become one of the most prominent cultural events in Lithuania, invited visitors to meetings with writers, book presentations, discussions, exhibitions, creative workshops and other cultural activities. The fair covered topics such as artificial intelligence and the world it creates, art and propaganda, and access to literature, not to mention the ongoing war in Ukraine and the atrocities in Israel. This year’s Vilnius Book Fair addressed its visitors with the final line from the poem “Fairy Tale” by Henrikas Radauskas: “I don't believe the world, but I do believe the fairy tale” (Pasauliu netikiu, o pasaka tikiu).

The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania took part in the Vilnius Book Fair as it does every year. It presented a varied and rich programme. Visitors flocked to the stand of the National Library’s Science and Encyclopaedia Publishing Centre. The National Library’s publishing activities were particularly strengthened, and the focus was on publications – in addition to previous publications, new releases for 2023 were also presented. Seven book presentations were held. Autographs were signed by the authors at the National Library’s stand after their meetings with visitors.

The National Library of Lithuania’s highly successful early reading promotion project “Book Start” invited parents with children to actively participate in activities organised by the National Library’s educators and children’s reading specialists. For all four days of the fair, visitors were welcomed to a cosy reading corner, where they could read books selected by specialists for different age groups, various educational activities took place, visitors were given advice by children’s literature specialists, and well-known actors and performers read interesting stories.

Since 2005, the National Library, together with its partners, has also organised the annual Book of the Year Awards. The aim of the campaign is to encourage Lithuanian writers to create and publishers to publish quality literature for people of all ages, to encourage people of all ages and social groups to read, to ensure the creation of an environment conducive to reading, and to ensure the availability of artistically valuable literature. Readers choose the Books of the Year from among the books proposed by the expert jury in the following categories: children’s; teenagers’; prose; poetry; non-fiction. Once the nominees have been announced, voting for readers’ favourite books will open until 23 April. The winners of the campaign are traditionally announced on 7 May, the Day of the Restoration of the Press, Language and Books.

According to the organisers of the fair, the annual event was attended by about 300 publishing houses and other cultural organisations from Lithuania and abroad, more than 500 different events and concerts took place, and more than 50,000 visitors came to the fair during the four days.

Photo: The President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda was interested in the news of the stand of the National Library of Lithuania’s Science and Encyclopaedia Publishing Centre.