The Finnish Reading Centre

The Finnish Reading Centre, founded in 1972, is a well-established literary NGO, with a history of innovative and successful reading campaigns.

Our mission is to promote reading and literacy, and to produce materials, information, services and expertise for schools in particular, but also for libraries, the general public, media and policy makers. Our target is bettering the literacy of children and young people all over Finland. We are funded by the government (Ministry of Education and Culture), together with several Finnish charitable foundations.

Activities

Our basic activity centers around organizing author visits. We generally receive over 1 000 requests a year for these visits from schools, libraries and other organizations. We oversee the visiting authors’ fees, and our fee structure is used widely as a standard in Finland. We have an extranet author database (http://www.lukukeskus.fi/kirjailijatietokanta/) to help the ordering process. Our Writer To Every School visiting programme schools of specific areas get additional funding for the author visits.

In addition, we have run several major campaigns to promote reading during the last decade, aimed at children, teenagers and young adults. Our main annual campaign is “Lukuviikko” (Reading Week), in which schools, libraries and other organizations organize campaigns, events and other ways of promoting reading during one week each Spring. The Finnish Reading Centre provides free materials and ideas for schools and libraries and oversees the communication and marketing of the week. In 2014, over 70 events were organized nationally around Finland during the Reading Week.

Furthermore, we publish three literature magazines. “Vinski” is aimed at children, and “Lukufiilis” is for young people. Both are quarterlies. The special feature of these two magazines is that children and young people write most of the articles and book reviews themselves. The reviews are also published on our website. The editorial boards of these magazines consist of professionals such as schoolteachers and writers. Our third and largest literature magazine is published on the Web: “Kiiltomato” (Swedish title “Lysmasken”) releases three to four reviews each week, a quarter of them in Swedish. The site reviews Finnish and foreign fiction and non-fiction of the kind that deserves more exposure than it receives in the mainstream media. “Kiiltomato” is very well known in Finland, and its regular readers include professionals and the general public.

Organization

The Finnish Reading Centre consists of ten member organizations, the leading literary societies in Finland. They are: Society of Swedish Language Authors in Finland (FSF); KVS Foundation; The Finnish Critics’ Association; The Union of Finnish Writers; Finnish Library Association; The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters; The Association of Finnish Writers for Children and Youth; The Finnish Dramatists’ Union; The Finnish Association of Non-fiction Writers, as well as The Federation of Teachers of Finnish.

Future objectives

The Finnish Reading Centre operates very closely with Finnish authors, publishers and literary organizations. We have also developed a network of international contacts in order to exchange experiences with, and import best practices from similar organizations in Europe.

For further information please contact:
Executive Director Ilmi Villacis
tel. +358  40 8305936
email: ilmi.villacis@lukukeskus.fi