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Bookstores and libraries for residents of social housing announces Rachida Dati

Bookstores and libraries will be opened in social housing in working-class neighborhoods as part of an experiment to promote reading, announced the Minister of Culture Rachida Dati in an interview with Les Echos on Thursday.

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Bookstores and libraries for residents of social housing announces Rachida Dati

Bookstores and libraries will be opened in social housing in working-class neighborhoods as part of an experiment to promote reading, announced the Minister of Culture Rachida Dati in an interview with Les Echos on Thursday.

This initiative primarily targets “social housing in city neighborhoods” but also rural areas, said Ms. Dati. “This new system aims to bring books closer to audiences, particularly those far from reading,” she added.

A first test will take place in Rillieux-la-Pape, near Lyon, with MP Alexandre Vincendet, according to the minister. This town of 32,000 inhabitants does not in fact have any bookstores, recalls Les Échos. “Libraries and bookstores are often in the centers of cities,” lamented Rachida Dati. These new structures, which will be set up in partnership with social landlords and communities, can be managed by associations or cooperative and participatory companies (SCOP).

Rachida Dati also declared having asked the regional directorates of cultural affairs (DRAC) to make books available to leisure centers, popular education associations and all institutions that request them to constitute “a common heritage to all young people.” A budget of 1.2 million euros will be devoted to this specific operation. These announcements come a few days after the publication of a survey by the National Book Center (CNL) pointing to a lasting erosion of reading among young people in favor of time spent on screens.

The Minister of Culture also announced in March other measures to promote young people's access to culture, in particular that she would make the Youth and Culture Centers (MJC), players in popular education, “eligible” for the Culture Pass.

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