Croatia Reads was not about Croatia [but about free access to books for all mankind] | N S R

lterrat's bookmarks 2017-05-21


"So how exactly did the small country of Croatia enter the picture to become the first big Free Reading project for NSR? As I wrote previously (see Article 1), Croatia is the country of my birth, so there is a special connection to this project going beyond the many other benefits and advantages I recognized along the way, worth noting here:

  • it’s a country small and compact enough to be turned into a free reading zone in its entirety (since the budget for reading was modest) and as such, it could (hopefully) become the project the Croatian Government would take interest in long term because it involved and benefited all its citizens, even its tourists and visitors
  • it’s a country visited by 15 million tourists annually (more than three times its population), so there would be interest in the multi-lingual offering in the collection (most books were in English, but many in other European languages as well) and, as a result, the benefits would be significant for the Department of Tourism (not only for the Departments of Education and Culture)
  • it’s a country with many remote areas where access to books and knowledge via libraries is limited at best (especially on the many islands in the Adriatic) and through this open library books would reach people who normally don’t have easy access to books and libraries
  • it’s a country where buying printed books is a privilege which many cannot afford; the average printed book in Croatia costs about $15-$20, while the average monthly income of most Croatians is a fraction of what it is in the United States (less than $800/month)
  • it’s a country where libraries function on limited budgets and have not taken any serious steps toward offering ebooks in their communities, so the project would directly support libraries and other institutions of knowledge and learning

In short, on December 5, 2016, with the help of a small team of local enthusiasts (not librarians) that I had the privilege of befriending during my stay in Zagreb (Croatia’s capital), and in cooperation with Total Boox, whose application was used for reading, Croatia became an open virtual library for one month. To help NSR readers gain more insight into some technical aspects of the project, below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions compiled for users in Croatia, which should fill in some of the blanks not discussed in previous articles."


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » lterrat's bookmarks

Tags: oa.croatia oa.books oa.business_models oa.libraries oa.advocacy

Date tagged:

05/21/2017, 21:31

Date published:

05/21/2017, 17:31