PWN Scientific Publisher was placed in the latest business ranking “Forbes Diamonds”, which every year creates a list of Polish companies that have been increasing their value the fastest over the last three years of business. We know that both 2020 and 2021 were very difficult years because of the pandemic that is underway. Polish Press Agency (PAP) asked Natalia Wojciechowska, the President of Lifelong Learning Strategy how they had overcome all those difficulties and how they had achieved such good results.
“This is a very significant distinction for us and we are glad that our actions bring concrete results. In the age of pandemics, the model for distributing and consuming content has changed. Remote learning in schools and universities has become an everyday occurrence. Students learn in their homes. They often do not have the opportunity to use college or library resources in a stationary manner. This makes them seek knowledge remotely, online. Therefore, we decided to meet their needs and focus on the development of our online e-reader, IBUK Libra. At the same time, we continue to expand our publishing lines. We are looking for authors who bring the highest quality to the world of science with their achievements and research. They are or become authorities in their field. I think the key to creating our publishing offer and expanding our range of titles is to focus on quality, on providing reliable, verified information. So that no one has doubts and feels safe assimilating the collected knowledge,” she said
On the other hand, Anna Lubczyńska-Lafuente, Sales Director was asked regarding the IBUK Libra online reading room: what does it offer? Who can access it and how can it be used?
“IBUK Libra can be used at any time, which is a great advantage of any online solution. There are no restrictions. Our platform has a book collection of over fifty thousand professional, scientific, popular science and fiction publications. What is important, we do not focus only on the offer of our publishing houses PWN and PZWL, but we also make available publications of almost 400 other publishers. This tool enables advanced work with text. Users can take advantage of a wide variety of features, including intra-text search, citation, annotation, or linking issues and content to encyclopedias and dictionaries. Referring to the previous question, you can very clearly see the increasing activity on the platform of the scientific community. Our solution is used by 80% of public universities. As the statistics show, IBUK Libra usage has almost tripled compared to pre-pandemic times,” she assessed
PAP: You mentioned two important directions of the PWN; on the one hand, about the online activities of the publishing house in the form of the development of the IBUK Libra platform and on the other hand, about the constant and unchanging focus on providing reliable and proven knowledge. How would you fit these activities into PWN’s overall strategy?
Natalia Wojciechowska: The basis of our activity is providing knowledge and supporting the learning process. We are committed to supporting our clients at every stage of their educational life, with a particular focus on career studies, academics and foreign languages. In addition to IBUK Libra, we organize conferences (e-pzwl, e-Universytet PWN) and medical webinars with leading authorities from the world of medicine and have knowledge portals (sjp.pwn.pl, nursing.com.pl, e-Akademia). In addition, we often join forces and rely on collaborations with various institutions and other publishers. Our medical publishing house PZWL has been supporting the education of the medical community for generations. Actively working in this field, we joined the AI in Health Coalition to support the development of artificial intelligence in the Polish healthcare system. We also cooperate with the Cambridge University Press publishing house, thus providing teachers and students with wide access to professional, comprehensive educational materials which guarantee concrete progress in learning and reliable preparation for exams. We are a member of the Polish Book Chamber and we closely cooperate with the Polish Rectors Foundation. As part of the strategic partnership, representatives of PWN and FRP experts work together on the analysis of modern educational solutions and the perspective for the development of Open Science tools.
PAP: To sum up everything that has been said so far – PWN is very active in scientific and academic circles. Is there an area of PWN’s work that would include a wider audience? And if so, which one?
Anna Lubczynska-Lafuente: Yes. Every year we hold a plebiscite for “Youth Word of the Year”, which is very popular. As many as 68030 votes were cast in the last edition. The action continues to generate a lot of excitement and smiles on the faces of all those who get acquainted with youth language trends. Additionally, we have quite recently joined the Board of the Current Reading Foundation. The Foundation aims to reach non-reading families across the country. Through its projects, it seeks to engage diverse professional groups in shared reading. This is a very important initiative for us because reading is the foundation. Without it, it’s hard to educate and grow, and we want to support everyone at every stage of education.
PAP: PWN is also changing as an organization. The year 2021 was an anniversary year, the publishing house turned 70 years old. Lots of accumulated experience, many serious ventures and successes. What does PWN look like as an organization today?
Natalia Wojciechowska: The jubilee year was indeed such a time when we could look back with pride at all the achievements of our colleagues forming our teams so far. I think the success of PWN is the constant desire to grow and the realization that change is needed. Modernity has always attracted us and we have always wanted to be in the vanguard. An example is our PWN Multimedia Encyclopedia, which was the first such digital publication in Poland and the third in the world. This year we merge the structures of three publishing companies: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN SA, PZWL Wydawnictwo Lekarskie Sp. z o.o. and PWN Wydawnictwo Szkolne Sp. z o.o. In parallel to modernizing our products and services, we are also working to grow as an organization by providing a friendly workplace for our employees, authors and partners. We would like to devote the coming years of our activity to these issues.