Public Book Policies

Public book policies are a set of measures, standards, frameworks and laws that structure and support the book field in a given country : they must strengthen a given country’s book sector, help to support local production, the dissemination and access of all to the book, in particular through the implementation of adequate regulatory and tax measures and the multiplication of reading spaces (public libraries for example). Public book policies need to be developed and implemented with all book professionnals, in each country. It is also necessary for these national policies to be extended by regional and international policies.


Reconnecting author rights, cultural rights and social rights, Lionel Maurel, April 2018

Authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians and readers form what is commonly known as a “book ecosystem”, an expression that reflects the interdependence between actors in the book field. However, over the past few years, the discussions, both globally and in Europe, about re-defining the intellectual property rights, and the evolution of practices in the digital era, led to division that gradually distanced these stakeholders, with the risk of weakening the solidarity that unites them.
Fortunately, new conversations have started, more specifically about the cultural rights, opening a space where this topic can be debated and addressed from a new angle with focus on issues related to the balance of rights. Starting from the idea that fundamental rights are inseparable, it seems possible to understand author rights, cultural rights and social rights as a coherent whole. The challenge is to find an approach that would stop opposing the book professionals, to re-establish coalitions towards the conquest for new rights.
Due to their specific position, independent publishers could play an important role in framing this collective discussion in the book sector.

Lionel Maurel
A Law Degree holder, Lionel Maurel is currently a librarian at the University Paris Lumières Library. Author of the S.I.Lex blog, he specialises in Intellectual Property, Digital Law, and Cultural Law. Involved in the Commons movement, he co-founded the collective SavoirsCom1 (“Common Knowledges”) and is a member of the Strategic Orientation College of La Quadrature du Net.
Picture : thesupermath. CC-BY-SA. Source : Wikimedia Commons, remix by Guénaël Boutouillet

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African Book Industry, report of USAID-Global Book Alliance and ADEA, Abidjan (Ivory Coast), January 2018

Read here the report of the workshop on « African Book Industry », organized by the Global Book Alliance (USAID) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) in January 2018.
The workshop brought together 79 key stakeholders in the African Book Publishing Industry from 22 African countries.
More information here.

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Re|Shaping cultural policies 2018 (2005 Convention Global Report)

Re|Shaping Cultural Policies 2018 (UNESCO 2005 Convention Global Report)
Creativity at the Heart of Development
Excerpt from the foreword :
“This new UNESCO Global Report ‘Re|Shaping Cultural Policies’ is an invaluable tool for the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This Convention, now ratified by 146 Parties, including the European Union, is leading UNESCO’s efforts to strengthen capacities for the creation, production, and dissemination of cultural goods, services, and activities. States are supported in their sovereign right to implement public policies for the development of strong and dynamic cultural and creative industry sectors. UNESCO is committed to developing more effective and sustainable public policies in these areas.
Our roadmap is clear and requires the cooperation of governments and non-governmental actors in four key areas : strengthening governance for culture, improving the conditions for the mobility of artists, integrating culture in sustainable development strategies, and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms. These four goals are closely linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Audrey Azoulay
Director-General of UNESCO

Read the report here.

Octavio Kulesz, member of the Digital Lab of the Alliance is the author of Chapter 3 of the report : « Cultural Policies in the Age of Platforms ».

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Public Book Policies in the Arab world and the view from Chile and France

In partnership with the Tunis Book Fair and the Union of Tunisian Publishers, and thanks to the support of the Fondation de France and the French Institutes of Tunisia and Lebanon, the Alliance organised a day focusing on public book policies in the Arab world on Thursday 30 March 2017.

Publishers from Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia presented a panorama of book public policies in their respective countries : Chilean and French publishers spoke on what is being implemented in their countries – a dialogue and exchange between professionals and public authorities, between continents, between cultures.

This day was initiated in the context of the Bibliodiversity Observatory and the mapping of public book policies in Latin America and the Arab world, on-going at the Observatory.

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Proteggere il libro (Protect the Book, Italian version)

Langue(s) : italien

“« Protect” the Book » by Markus GERLACH, a report from the collection “Reports on the Publishing World”, is now available in Italian from the Italian Federation of Independent Publishers (FIDARE), which translated and published this new edition.
This reference book has been translated into several languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian).

Year of publication : 2010, 68 pages, 15 X 21 cm, 8 euros.

Collection État des lieux de l’édition

JPEG - 121.6 ko

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Book trade between Spain and Latin America

This study, available in Spanish, was carried out as an International Alliance of independent publishers exclusive by Elena Enríquez Fuentes (Mexico) in 2008.

Her work demonstrates that there is a considerable bias in the trading of books between Spain and Latin America. This assertion is based on the analysis of exports and imports between Spain and Latin America in 2006 and 2007.

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Towards a Europe protecting bibliodiversity ?, April 2009

As the official campaign for the next European elections is being launched, the Alliance has decided to get involved in a positive fashion by formulating three proposals that would be very simple to implement.

These proposals have furthermore been published on the website, with dozens of others, on the initiative of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation in the framework of its “What kind of Europe do we want ?” program. Let us hope this impressive corpus of proposals will be a profitable inspiration to the EU’s future elected representatives !

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Publishing professionals charter and code of ethics, produced by the Organisation malienne des éditeurs de livre, Mali, 2017

Publishing professionals charter and code of ethics, produced by the Organisation malienne des éditeurs de livre (OMEL), Mali, 2017.

This charter was produced by OMEL (Organisation malienne des éditeurs de livre) in April 2017, which authorized the Alliance to publish it on its website.

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Preferential postage rates for books : urgent for Latin America, August 2010

Massively used by small publishing firms to distribute their products to bookstores, libraries, and readers, the postal service is the most popular means of circulating books throughout the world. However, the absence, suppression or questioning of special postage for books is an impediment to bibliodiversity in many countries.
In Latin America, with a huge territory to cover and limited circulation, a large share of publishers ensures the delivery of their products themselves. For these publishers, preferential postage rates for shipping books are all the more vital.

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