Ministry of Culture Moves Oversite of Book Policies Back to Brasilia

Marta Suplicy and Renato Lessa

The ministry of culture (MinC) has been going through several structural changes since Marta Suplicy was appointed minister last year. Sociologist Renato Lessa took over from Galeno Amorim as president of the National Library Foundation (FBN). Also, the FBN is no longer responsible for book, literature and reading policies. The department will be transferred back to the capital Brasília – where was originally housed two years before — and will be managed within the MinC.

Speaking with the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, Ms. Suplicy noted that the transfer of the control of book policies from the Department of Books, Literature, and Libraries (DLLB) to the National Library Foundation two years ago, “distorted developments that had been taking place at the National Reading and Books Planning (PNLL) at the ministry.” The international programs, such as those promoting the translation and internationalization of Brazilian literature, will remain at FBN, under Renato Lessa.

Translating the acronyms: the National Library Foundation (FBN), based in Rio de Janiero, is still responsible for Brazil’s participation as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair and the translation grants program. Domestic Books and Reading policies will be managed at the Ministry of Culture, in Brasília.

The same article noted that it was likely the government would resume the debate over funding for a national  Book Institute to promote literature and literacy. The debate began in 2004 when the publishing industry went from paying up to 9% tax on the production chain to being tax-exempt. The idea is that publishers would dedicate 1% of their revenues to the Institute in support of their programs.

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