About the Summit

The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) in conjunction with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) and UNISA’s Department of Information Science will be hosting the 2nd biennial National Reading Summit from 29 to 31 March 2023.

The Reading Summit aims to assess the role of literacy in the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 and focuses on contributing to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, to improve literacy in Africa. The main venue for the conference will be at the National Library of South Africa, Pretoria Campus. The conference will also be conducted virtually. The hybrid conference will aim to achieve the following objectives:

  • To explore issues and insights on reading practices in South Africa, on the African continent and globally.
  • To provide a platform for exchange of experiences and dialogue on Book Clubs as a means of promoting reading in our communities.
  • To identify and analyse opportunities and challenges of reading initiatives.
  • To showcase effective reading programmes of specific age groups.
  • To draw lessons from best practice models in driving reading programmes.
  • To strengthen reading programmes and initiatives in collaboration with Government and various stakeholders including educators, NGOs, publishers and institutions of higher education.

Linked to the objectives set for the Reading Summit, the main theme of the Summit is: Nurturing reading cultures and literacies in post-pandemic ecosystems.

Sub-themes related to the main theme for the conference include:

Sub-Theme 1: Reading cultures for sustainable development

  • Cultures of reading
  • Impact and reach of reading initiatives in advancing cultures of reading
  • Reading post the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Reading interests and readers
  • Barriers to reading and reading cultures
  • Decolonising reading practices
  • Reading for differently-abled individuals
  • Early childhood literacies
  • Reading support for different user groups

Sub-Theme 2: Reading and Technology

  • Reading and literacy in 4IR
  • Technology use towards strengthening reading practices
  • Influence of social media on reading

Sub-Theme 3: Promotion of reading and literacies

  • Book clubs and mobile libraries
  • Storytelling and promotion of reading cultures
  • Best practices in driving reading programmes
  • The impact of international and national Reading Campaigns in promoting a culture of reading
  • Sustainability of reading programmes
  • Advocacy and collaboration towards the promotion of reading

Sub-theme 4: Reading cultures and literacy theoretical constructs

  • Reading models applicable to the continent and globally that can be emulated to give momentum to reading programmes
  • Theoretical framework development towards the advancement of reading cultures
  • Conceptual constructs to advance reading programme expansion

Sub-theme 5: Multilingualism and Multiculturalism

  • Promotion of multilingualism in reading
  • Development of indigenous language systems
  • Preserving indigenous knowledge

Sub-theme 6: Reading and literacy skills development

  • Building skills to enhance reading cultures
  • Funding towards reading and literacy skills development
  • Collaborations towards reading and literacy skills development
  • Inclusive and accessible reading culture development
  • National collaboration opportunities towards reading and literacy development
  • International opportunities to advance reading and literacy skills development
Sub-theme 7: Case studies of successes

  • Best practice examples of success stories
  • Reinforcing information literacies by reimagining reading cultures in post-pandemic communities of practice