Joy of Reading Award

The winner of the Joy of Reading Award will be presented at Next Library 2017 in Aarhus, Denmark.

The award is open for applications from 1 November 2016 to 1 March 2017.

New award supports the joy of reading! 

Being able to read opens many doors in life – just like not being able to read and write closes many doors. The $10,000 Systematic – Joy of Reading Award supports innovative projects that promote the joy of reading.

Illiteracy is a global problem. The Systematic – Joy of Reading Award, worth $10,000, is awarded to projects that promote the joy of reading and fight illiteracy.

People with passion can make a difference to people challenged by illiteracy, and Systematic wishes to support fighting this global challenge. We want to support projects and initiatives that help people to learn to read - even if their local community does not provide adequate support.

Goals in life

Being able to read opens many doors in life and the joy of reading is probably the most important driver to secure that we become good readers. If the reading ability is not obtained a number of doors leading to desirable goals will remain closed or at least very difficult to open. In the UN 2030 Agenda, to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning are important goals.

“Together with Systematic we look forward to seeing the different ways reading can be elevated into people’s lives.” Rolf Hapel, Director, Aarhus Public Libraries.

“Illiteracy is a global problem and the libraries and enthusiasts play a key role in supporting universal literacy with education, enlightenment and knowledge. We want to recognise organisations and projects that make a difference with innovative initiatives that encourage people to read and thereby meet the global challenge. It goes hand in hand with Systematics’ aim to make a difference within the society.” Michael Holm, founder and CEO of Systematic.

The award

The award is established by the IT-company Systematic in collaboration with Next Library.

An international jury will assess the incoming applications and choose the nominees and winner. The winner will be invited to Next Library 11-14 June 2017, in Aarhus, Denmark, to receive the prize and present the winning project. HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, founder of the Reading and Writing Foundation, will hand over the Award. Next Library is an international gathering of forward-thinking library professionals, innovators and decision-makers who are pushing boundaries to support learning.

More information

For more information, please also visit Systematics page about the award.

See also press release about the award and the handout

Winning criterias

  • Joy of reading has to be an important part of the initiative

  • The effect of the initiative has to be documented – e.g. by number of people reached, level of reading and documentation by either case stories or research

  • The initiative must make use of innovative methods and/or thinking

  • The initiative has to be up and running for at least two years

    For more information, please contact Rolf Hapel ( or Martin Brøchner-Mortensen (

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