Buchstart Österreich, Österreichisches Bibliothekswerk, Austria

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Programme name Country Date of information
Buchstart Österreich
Bookstart Austria
Austria 7th April 2020


Question Answer
About the Organisation  
Organisation name Österreichisches Bibliothekswerk
Austrian Library Service
Organisation address Elisabetstrasse 10
5020 Salzburg, Austria
Goal/objective The Austrian Library Service was founded in 1947 and is supporting, representing and promoting approx. 1,300 member libraries. We offer further education for librarians, book reviews, digital services  and run projects in the field of social integration and  reading promotion in close exchange with artists of all disciplines.
Contact Person Reinhard  Ehgartner
Position of Contact Person director
Contact email
Contact Telephone Number
Organisation website www.biblio.at  | www.buchstart.at
Organisation type national reading promotion organization
How many staff does your organisation employ? 5 employees share 3.6 fulltime jobs
About the Programme
Basic details
Programme name Bookstart Austria – Growing with Books
Country where the programme takes place Nationwide. In-depth in four federal states.
Year started 2011
Programme goal/objective To reach every family by a  wide network of partner institutions and thousands of involved colleagues (mainly in libraries).
Funding sources Member fees, Ministry of Culture, Catholic church, Federal states. The production of the bookstart material is financed by the contribution of regional partners and libraries.
Geographic coverage national
Purpose of the programme
Not for profit? Yes, not for profit
Religious or political purpose? Co-financed by the Catholic church (30%), but no didactic religious purpose in the bookstart project.
Local consistency of model
Is your programme model consistent across your geographic area, or are there regional differences? Consistent in the central goal. Not consistent in the implementation under the federal states, which is varying. In Styria the distribution is closer to the municipalities, in Salzburg or Burgenland much closer to the public libraries.
Book Packs
What are the contents of your gifting pack? Together with Austrian publishers, writers and illustrators we devise books of highest quality, all printed in Europe. We already offer more than 70 bookstart elements :


Is your programme offered free of charge to all families? Yes
Partnerships and Delivery
What are your primary ‘points of contact’ with the population you serve? Library – main contact; Hospital – very low; School – strong; Others: kindergarten, private initiatives
Who gifts/hands-out your pack to families?


early literacy specialists – some; librarians – mostly; nursery school staff; volunteers – mostly (librarians in Austria often are volunteers)
Please list your other programme partnerships and briefly give details. We run a very successful programme/education in reading aloud – supported by the ministry for social affairs and some Federal states.

We offer the biggest database for book reviews within the German speaking area – www.rezensionen.at – supported by the ministry of culture.

Further education etc.

If your programme uses volunteers, please give some more details About 10,000 volunteers work in Austrian libraries. Also in our team there is a lot of experience in volunteer work.

The librarians are offered free education, courses, participation in projects. 85% are female; all ages; the biggest group is from 40 – 50 years old.

Is the programme universal or targeted? universal
How many children does your programme serve a year? We don’t have reliable data on this because of the decentralised character of our project. Some federal states claim that they reach 70%; the very low budgeted but very ambitious project in Burgenland reaches 50% of the new born.
At what age/gifting period do children receive your programme. As the programme is very decentralised and autonomous in the realisation, you find all of these periods: Birth – 6 months; 6 – 12 months; 12 – 24 months; 2-4 years
Diversity provision
Does your program include provisions or resources for children with special needs? no


What language populations does your programme serve? Please give details of multilingual provision, and list all languages. Some books and brochures are multilingual –  alongside German you find: Serbian, Bosnian, Turkish, Arab, English, Slovenian, Italian. Our “reading yardstick” is translated into 15 languages:


Evaluation and research
Have you conducted programme evaluation or research (including longitudinal)?

If yes, has this evaluation/research been published?

The reading aloud programme was evaluated by the Institute of Sociology (University of Vienna) and published by the ministry for social affairs (who funded the project).

The colleagues of “Buchstart Burgenland” have very profound  documentations, evaluations and statistics:


Evaluation by ELINET and published as good practice:


The concept and realisation of the education of reading buddies was also evaluated and honoured by ELINET.


Further information or comments
Please give us any further information that would be helpful for us and others to understand your programme Participation is very important in our programme – many impulses, ideas and creative inputs are coming from partners, artists, librarians, parents. All multimedia is realized by such benevolent people. They are the most important ambassadors of “Buchstart Austria”.




May 2021 – Health and Wellbeing

Reinhard Ehgartner: Buchstart Österreich, (Österreichisches Bibliothekswerk, Austria)

  • Reinhard Ehgartner: Buchstart Österreich, (Österreichisches Bibliothekswerk, Austria) – Books and reading aloud on prescription: a new project for Austria
    • The book Dr Mouse – the PDF can be used freely and only commercial use is excluded. (If someone wants to publish the book officially in their country, they must acquire the rights from the publisher of the hardcover version – www.tyrolia.at) – Dr Mouse