Isn't this ironic?

My irony levels shot up when I read that Reykjavík has applied to become a UNESCO City of Literature.

According to the UNESCO website, a city needs to fulfil the following criteria to become a City of Literature:

  • Quality, quantity and diversity of editorial initiatives and publishing houses;
  • Quality and quantity of educational programmes focusing on domestic or foreign literature in primary and secondary schools as well as universities;
  • Urban environment in which literature, drama and/or poetry play an integral role;
  • Experience in hosting literary events and festivals aiming at promoting domestic and foreign literature;
  • Libraries, bookstores and public or private cultural centres dedicated to the preservation, promotion and dissemination of domestic and foreign literature;
  • Active effort by the publishing sector to translate literary works from diverse national languages and foreign literature;
  • Active involvement of media, including new media, in promoting literature and strengthening the market for literary products.
This is ironic for a city where the public libraries have had to cut down on book buying and shorten the lending time from one month to three weeks due to budget cuts (and where another independent bookstore just bit the dust).

Read the whole story here.


George said…
I hope Reykjavik wins despite the reduced library budget and closing bookstores. Maybe the award will bring some much needed funding with it. I was also happy INSIDE JOB won the OSCAR for Best Documentary. Anyone who sees that movie will realize where the money that should go to schools and libraries and hospitals is REALLY going.
Bibliophile said…
I hope it does too. But somehting like this may well have a negative effect on the application.

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