A Successful Launch of a Literary Program

December 20, 2022

To develop the reading skills of the Lithuanian diaspora, the National Library of Lithuania, together with the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, the World Lithuanian Community, and the Lithuanian Publishers’ Association have initiated a program for the Lithuanian diaspora communities. The program aims to introduce Lithuanians living abroad to the latest Lithuanian literature and to encourage them to read it.

The program was launched in 2022 in Poland. With the help of experts and taking into account the needs of the Lithuanian community in Poland, a collection of recent Lithuanian literature was compiled, including twenty-four books on Lithuanian fiction and cultural history. The collection was handed over to the library of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Poland, thus enabling members of the Polish-Lithuanian community to read and share the latest Lithuanian literature.

The members of the Warsaw Lithuanian Book Club, founded in 2016 by literary scholar Dr. Jūratė Čerškutė, made use of the books sent from Lithuania. Between October and December of 2022, the members of the book club participated in four meetings, where they read and discussed Undinė Radzevičiūtė’s, Vita Vilimaitė’s and Jean-Christophe Mončys’ books. Čerškutė was happy that the discussions were interesting, sometimes fierce, and that members of the book club had different opinions. The literary critic said that overall, the time was spent in a useful and meaningful way.

The three-year project will continue cooperating with the Lithuanian Book Club in Warsaw. As the program gains momentum, the organizers plan to involve more Lithuanian book clubs abroad and to create conditions to establish new ones. Plans include cooperation with public libraries abroad, offering to set up a shelf of Lithuanian books for use by local Lithuanians and other patrons.