OKUYAY Platform’s business visit to London!

OKUYAY Platform’s United Kingdom business visit was realised during an organisation of our project partner Kingston University between 1-4 July. OKUYAY Platform’s project team in London included our Project Coordinator Ebru Şenol, Sectoral Expert Sevengül Sönmez as well as representatives from our project partners, including Duygu Yaşar (from AÇEV) and Özge Çehreli (from Kadıköy Municipality).

The meeting, taking place in Book Aid International, was started with OKUYAY Platform’s introduction. Judith Henderson’s talk on Book Aid International followed, where she mentioned the CSO’s services such as bringing books to African people from all walks of life. During the talk, she also talked about their storage which is full of books to go to Africa, and about countless volunteers contributing to their platform.

The second visit in the United Kingdom took place in Charted Institute of Library and Information Professionals (namely, CILIP). A member of the Library and Information Association, CILIP stands out with their works concerning libraries’ role on the dissemination of reading culture. Nicholas Poole, CEO of the foundation, made for us a very detailed presentation regarding the publishing industry and reading culture.

One of the meetings that was held on the same day was in National Literacy Trust – one of the most important foundations that work on the dissemination of reading culture in the United Kingdom. Their manager, Fiona Evans, told us about the projects and researches they had carried out, and about the progress they had by then made.

The very first day of our business trip to London ended with the meeting that was held in Libraries Connected. During the meeting, Mark Freeman told us about how libraries in his charge functioned, their budgets, whom they affiliated with, and the events they had organised. He also mentioned how he dealt with these works outside London, in little towns like Stockton.

On their second day in London, OKUYAY project team paid a visit to the Literacy Consultancy. The Literacy Consultancy contributes to reading culture from a different angle: They are offering help to authors regarding their writings and arranging courses and educational programmes.

The team then visited the Book Trust, an organisation realising the UK’s most important reading culture projects. They informed OKUYAY project team about BookStart, a project that includes the distribution of free books and kits to British children of all ages – with the help of municipalities. Click here for further information on the BookStart Project.

The last visit on the second day was held in the UK’s Publishers Association, Turkish Publishers’ Association’s Professions in Publishing project partner. In the meeting, Publishers Association’s General Director Emma House mentioned various British foundations’ opinions on reading culture, World Book Day, and some issues that occupy their agenda.

OKUYAY Platform’s project team, on their third day in the UK, were in the Reading Agency, talking to Genevieve Clarke who has for years worked for the Reading Agency and organises Marlborough Literature Festival. She now works on reading campaigns taking place in jails.

The Reading Agency is one of the most important foundations in the UK. Every summer, with their Summer Reading Challenge campaign, they are organising reading campaigns for children, and they have other projects for people from every walks of life as well. To follow their works, click here.

On their last day in London, OKUYAY Platform paid a visit to English Pen. During this business meeting where they intended to show how reading culture in the UK was improved, Will Forrester, manager of English Pen, told us about their translation campaigns, events, and partnerships with other foundations.

OKUYAY Platform’s business trip to London was finalised with one last visit to Kingston University.

The project team, via video chat, got in touch with School Library Association and WorldReader as well.

OKUYAY Platform project partner Kingston University has a project called Big Read, where they try to get freshman students to socialise and forge a bond with one another by use of a single book which is selected by students and school personnel. For further information on the project, please click here.

We would like to express our special thanks of gratitude to Professor Alison Baverstock and Tanu Shelar, who organised every little detail of our business visit to the UK and lent us considerable support all along!

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