Today, in circumstances when the state distances itself from different sectors of economy and culture, and the unified controlling and coordinating functions from sectoral authorities are lacking - the role of NGOs is rising.

Publishers Association of Russia (PAR) - the first professional association in our country - has gained experience in different organizational and structural skills, communication system, determined the prospects for its development.

The association was created by publishers initiative on April 17, 1990. The history of the organization has not been smooth and varied according to the social and economic environment. Today it has more than 200 members from more than 40 regions of the country.

Today PAR is authorized representative of Russia in the International Publishers Association (IPA). Business contacts were established with the national associations from other countries - Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Canada, Spain, Serbia, National Book Centre of Greece, Finland, and Egypt.

What PAR is capable of today, how can it be useful for the publishing community, and first and foremost - for its members?

Firstly, PAR provide organizational and substantive measures to preserve the level of professional qualifications of publishers and their professional awareness.

This includes carrying out periodic professional development seminars in Russian regional centers for publishers employees on various issues (publishing standards and regulations, copyright, modern marketing management, electronic publishing, etc.), scientific conferences, involving, among other things, the exchange of experience and discussions on topical issues in the book publishing and book distribution, prestigious large-scale professional annual competitions of the best books on various thematic categories, revealing new extraordinary publishers (which is particularly important - the regional publishing, unfortunately, is not always represented at the Moscow bookstores).

Second, maintaining the necessary level of legal competence of publishers through systematic consultations on copyright and other legislative issues in publishing sphere; coordinating activities of publishers - members of the Association - in the collective management of copyrights and the secondary copying of books in the library and the university practices.

Thirdly, the organization of a possible partnership environment for Russian publishers, the formation of information space, including CIS and other countries (the leading foreign publishing houses, national publishing associations, national libraries and leading universities) - to conduct a more active and systematic practical (commercial) work on assignment and acquisition of copyrights, joint publications, etc.; organization of regional and international targeted book fairs with the aim of promoting promising Russian books on foreign book markets.

Fourth, the collective representation for small and regional publishers in the leading Russian and foreign fairs.

Fifth, "Best Books of the Year" competition, held annually since 1991, enjoys a high reputation among publishers, which main objective - promotion, preservation and development of national culture of book publishing, support for innovative and creative ideas from publishing groups. As part of the contest, along with awards from PAR, there are also awards from Committee of the State Duma, FAPMK, Union of Journalists of Russia, Russian Book Union, Ministry of Defence, Chamber of Commerce of Russian Federation, Russian trade union of workers of culture, UNESCO, the General Directorate of International Book Exhibitions and Fairs, the Russian Book Chambers et al.

PAR also coordinates the management of joint analytical and discussional work on the leading issues of domestic book publishing; organizes book festivals and holidays in Russian regional and national centers, participation of the leading Russian publishers and public figures, writers, artists.

In the interest of expanding the range of business relationships of its members, PAR initiated the establishment of the Advisory Council of the CIS publishers (consists of 7 countries) and the Coordination Council of Russian foreign publishers (consists of publishers from 16 countries).

Among the regular partner organizations of PAR - the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications (Rospechat), the Committee of the Moscow Government, the Federal Agency for the Affairs of Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Affairs (Rossotrudnichestvo), the Publishing Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, the "Russian World" Foundation and others.

Associations work systematically covered in the trade press - weekly "Book Review", "Literary Gazette", "Book Industry" and "University Book" magazines, etc., as well as on website. The association is open to all publishers and book industry businesses and interested in expanding mutually beneficial and effective cooperation with Russian and foreign colleagues.