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IFLA Guust Van Wesemael Literacy Prize

Spanish translation  


The Prize was established by the IFLA Executive Board in November 1991, to commemorate the late Guust van Wesemael, who was Coordinator of IFLA's Professional Activities from 1979 to 1990 and Deputy Secretary General of IFLA from 1979 to 1991, and his contribution to IFLA's efforts to promote literacy in the developing countries. In 1996 the Prize was re-established under revised conditions.


The objective of the Prize is to recognise an achievement in the field of literacy promotion in a developing country. The Prize should preferably be used for follow-up activities such as purchasing targeted collections of appropriate books, but may also be used for other activities such as literacy promotion, training, policy development. The Prize is issued biennially.


The focus of the Prize is public library or school library work. Both individuals and library institutions are eligible to apply.


The Prize is awarded every two years, since April 1997. Each time a grant of c. EUR 2725 will be awarded. The Prize will be paid out in 2 installments: two thirds immediately and one third on submission of a report on how the Prize has been used (see "reporting").


The Prize is administered by IFLA Headquarters which will review the applications with the jury. The Professional Coordinator is IFLA's liaison person with the winner for the management of the project. He also receives and evaluates reports and informs the Professional Committee.


The selection is made by a Jury of 3 library professionals; a member of the Executive Committee of IFLA; a member of the Professional Committee of IFLA, specifically the Chair of the IFLA Division of Libraries Serving the General Public; the Chair or Secretary of one of the following Sections: Public Libraries, School Libraries, or Reading. The Jury is advised by the Professional Coordinator ex-officio.


The applications must be accompanied by: the reasons for application; a detailed description of the completed project or activity (including a short description of the library, or of the organisation and its activities); an explanation of how the Prize money would be used; and a realistic budget; candidates are also advised to attach a letter of support from their library association.

Application Form Application Form


Within six months after receipt of the Prize, the winner must submit to IFLA HQ an interim report of the use made of the funds, and the second installment will be paid out. When the project period is finished a final report and a financial statement should be submitted. (The report should be in a form suitable for publication in IFLA Journal).

Deadline for application: 1 March of every odd year.

For more information and for printed application forms, please contact:

IFLA Headquarters,
Koninklijke Bibliotheek,
Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5,
2595 BE The Hague,
Tel: +31-70-3140884,
Fax: +31-70-3834827,
E-mail: IFLA@ifla.org