TBC Bank’s SABA- Increasing Literacy & a Love of Reading

The most prestigious literary award in Georgia, the leading innovative web-platform of electronic books and social-literary projects is the result of 15 years’ work of SABA, the summarizing report of which was introduced to the public in TBC Gallery on June 26.

SABA was founded by TBC Bank in 2003 to give society the chance to choose books and writers, and to increase literacy in Georgia.

When SABA first appeared, only 80 authors agreed to participate, but by 2016 that had risen to more than 270 authors. On the whole, SABA has discussed 3,800 books, delivered 127 awards to the amount of GEL 500,000, and discovered a huge number of new writers.

In 2013, SABA was transformed as an international literary competition. A new nomination "Best Foreign Translation" was added, in which foreign publishers and translators could take part. From 2013-2017, SABA rated 120 Georgian books translated into foreign languages and published in 30 different countries.

In 2012, the electronic book house ‘SABA’ was created, which gave readers the opportunity to be able to read books on their electronic devices and create their own personal library. Today, on saba.com.ge, more than 140,000 people are registered and there are more than 4000 electronic books in Georgian as well as in foreign languages.

SABA also works to realize various literary-educational programs.

In 2013-2016, SABA gave away 500,000 free books to 50,000 people. This is the largest social-literary project in recent years, which focuses on raising literacy in society as well as accessibility to books.

SABA is also fulfilling various new projects to make comfort zones for reading.

One of these projects is ‘The reason for meeting’ (შეხვედრის საბაბი) which entails reading assistance in the regions. This project focuses on spreading electronic books in the regions, which has so far seen 6000 books spread for free in public schools and libraries.

Another project is ‘Free Books in the Metro’ (უფასო წიგნები მეტროში) which started in 2015 and aims to spread the use of electronic books and popularize reading.

‘Books in the Mountains’ (წიგნები მთაში) is another project which was fulfilled by SABA. Free electronic libraries appeared in Gudauri and Bakuriani in 2016 and both locals and tourists can download a variety of electronic books free of charge.

‘City Library’ (ქალაქი ბიბლიოთეკა) is one of the biggest projects for free electronic books in Tbilisi, seeing Electronic Libraries placed in the 50 streets in the city which are named after writers, at museums, and in parks and squares. There, people can download free electronic and audio books onto their Smartphones and compile a private library. The project was supported by the Municipality of Tbilisi and the private fund of the President. The project will soon grow to include a sister project- the Kutaisi City Library.

‘Audio Books for the Blind’ is the first application for audio books to be adapted for the blind. Within the frames of the project, the blind get 400 books for free. The project was fulfilled by the Open Society Georgia Fund (ღია საზოგადოება საქართველო) and is the only way of reading independently for the blind.

29 June 2017 19:31