The City Council of Krakow has adopted a programme of supporting cultural activities in bookstores. As part of this programme, the first Polish competition intended for foundations and associations that plan to organise literary events in brick-and-mortar bookstores will be created. Bookstores that function as foundations, or independent organisations that contribute to the revival of bookstores as cultural centres and meeting places can benefit from the programme.
Every year, Krakow bookstores host nearly 300 author evenings, discussions, workshops, film screenings or travel slideshows. Numerous readers gather at regular meetings at bookstores such as Bonobo, De Revolutionibus, Lokator, Massolit and Pod Globusem.
The resolution, which was voted in unanimously, was introduced by a group of councillors under the leadership of Tomasz Urynowicz, at the initiative of the Krakow Festival Office – the operator of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme. The initiative gives booksellers the ability to develop worthwhile, grassroots cultural activities, which have transformed many Krakow bookstores into modern meeting places, as well as authentic conversations about books.
The resolution is part of the strategy of supporting the development of the creative sector connected with literature, included in the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme, which is operated by the Krakow Festival Office. Brick-and-mortar bookstores are essential to maintaining interest in reading – according to the CBOS Public Opinion Research Centre studies, bookstores are where buyers most frequently browse books and make decision about purchasing them.
The Krakow protected industries programme and the eligibility of bookstores that also conduct additional complementary activities in the field of small catering (bookstore-cafés) to rent discount in city locations were extended last year as part of the strategy. The first bookstores to take advantage of this solution have already opened in Krakow. The campaign “Read Locally”, organised by the Krakow Festival Office in November and December of last year was also part of the strategy. The campaign included a series of lectures with the employees and frequent visitors of selected Krakow bookstores, and several dozen Krakow bookstores received seasonal bags – an addition to pre-holiday shopping (more information in the attachment).