Book Culture Foundation, Bookstart Korea

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Programme name Country Date of information
 Bookstart  South Korea   July 2019
Question Answer
About Organisation  
Organisation name Book Culture Foundation/Bookstart Korea
Organisation address 2F, 40, Dongsung3-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea 03085
Goal/objective Book Culture Foundation/Bookstart Korea is the civil movement organization who tries to develop the culture of reading books widely and deeply by expanding the infrastructures and contents of information & knowledge to make a society where all citizens can enjoy the right and opportunity of accessing to an equal knowledge; and where each citizen is able to create his own life value by resolving information gaps and inequality. The Foundation started its activity in 2001 to have spread activities such as the establishment of Miracle Library the special library for children, the support for school libraries, the creation of libraries for patients in hospitals, and the support for Bookstart, Book Wing(Bookstart for children who begin their first year in an elementary school), Reading groups, as a major project.
Contact Person Kim Hyun Bin
Position of Contact Person Manager
Contact email
Contact Telephone Number +82 2 3673 8783
Organisation website (Book Culture Foundation), (Bookstart Korea)
Organisation type national reading promotion organization
How many staff does your organisation employ? 11
About Programme  
Basic details  
Programme name Bookstart Korea
Country/Province/City where the programme takes place South Korea
Year started 2003
Programme goal/objective (if different from above) Bookstart Korea aims to provide a free pack of books to every baby in Korea to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life.   The goal of the Bookstart in Korea is to provide the free package of Bookstart to all born babies and deliver the message so called the support of social childcare, and to make a social system to minimize opportunity gap and inequality. Therefore, Bookstart Korea emphasizes the point, “Every society has a responsibility to raise babies well, which means the responsibility of the society as well as that of parents” rather than the value so called reading promotion.  
Funding sources Private-Public Cooperation
Geographic coverage national
Purpose of the programme  
Not for profit? Non-profit
Religious or political purpose? none
Is the programme universal or targeted? Every baby and child under school age in south Korea.
How many children does your programme serve a year? 110,880 children (in 2018).
At what age/gifting period do children receive your programme.   3 months – 7 years
Is your delivery model consistent across your geographic area, or are there regional differences? Consistent.
Book Packs  
What are the contents of your gifting pack? Bookstart Korea bag, Two picture books, Program brocher, Guidance for carers about how to read books with babies and children, Optional small present such as handkerchief, crayon, puzzle.
Is your programme offered free of charge to all families? Yes
Delivery partners/ primary ‘point of contact’ with the population you serve?   Library, Community centre, Health clinic
Who delivers your programme?   healthcare workers, librarians, volunteers
If your programme uses volunteers, please give more details The characteristic of Bookstart in Korea is an active participation and activity by volunteers. A librarian in charge of the Bookstart educates local residents to compose ‘Bookstart Volunteers’ and proceed with the program. Those mothers used to take charge of its role as a volunteer who have already observed the growth of babies or a mother who has experienced the Bookstart.   It is because even though public libraries in Korea have been expanded by its number without sufficient manpower, they have gone through the process to raise volunteers actively and encourage their participation and activities. However, it is not simply because of such aspect. The Bookstart is leading residents of local society to become a person who helps library service and helping public libraries to become a center of local society. The Bookstart also has been playing a role of invigorating public libraries while people who have been unfamiliar with public libraries consider them familiar.
Diversity provision  
Does your program include provisions or resources for children with special educational needs? no
What language populations does your programme serve? Korean. (Multilingual program brochures such as Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Filipino are available.)
Evaluation and research  
Have you conducted programme evaluation or research (including longitudinal)? If yes, has this evaluation/research been published?  Soo-Yeon Kim, “An Analysis on Relations Between the Services of Public Libraries for Babies and Toddlers and Bookstart Program”(2010)


12 September 2019 meeting – Using volunteers, and community invigoration


Ahn, Chan-soo: Bookstart Korea – Reading Promotion for Children in Korea: Using volunteers, and community invigoration


Sept 2019 – Using volunteers, and community invigoration