Iranian cultural bodies have sought to promote book reading culture as a primary undertaking since the advent of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and schools nationwide are considered to be serving as the main target community in this regard. The IRI Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as the national body in charge of the undertaking has planned and carried out different projects for that purpose.
In a major move to promote the goal, the ministry has supplied school libraries nationwide with different grade-tailored publication materials in remarkable volumes. The undertaking is usually carried out in two ways. As a longstanding way, the ministry has used to buy titles from domestic publishers and hand them through local ministerial departments to different provinces countrywide in a dual purpose move that both serves the publishers’ business status and boost the reading materials at hand in local libraries across the country.
The second method that was devised later and proved more useful included an staging of a book reading festival and exhibition called ‘in memory of the compassionate pal’ in an allusion to books, after the simile was used by a renowned Iranian poet in a piece of poem in praise of the status and role of books and publications in society. Nine editions of the special event have already been staged in a joint effort by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Tehran Municipality.
During the event to be held annually during the annual Week of Book in the Persian calendar, school delegates have chances to hand pick titles fiƫng the needs and demands of their academic audience from among over 20,000 titles on stalls in the book fairs. The selected titles will subsequently be handed without charges to libraries of the respective schools. Different programs are also planned as sideline activities to be held during such events, including book reading workshop and different book reading contests. The ministry has now planned to stage the event at any corner of the country in a bid to supply local school libraries in the respective areas with necessary titles or update their materials for a growingly interested school audience.