39th IBBY International Congress

Main theme: Join the Revolution! Giving every child good books.

Main theme: Join the Revolution! Giving every child good books



To know the people promoting good books and reading education – librarians, booksellers, publishers, authors, associations, institutions, schools, universities, and volunteers – is to help re-enforce their role. The Congress aims to broaden the debate on good books, their intrinsic values and different genres, but also what we mean by literature and quality images, be these illustrations, wordless images, words that create images and meaning, like poetry, but also the linguistic completeness of narrative poetry.

The Congress also intends to include those directly involved in the book revolution: young readers. We hope that the presence of young delegates from Italy’s neighbouring countries, along with reports on the work done around the world with young readers to foster a collective intelligence – the prerequisite for mutual understanding between countries and cultures – will help us all approach life with strong limbs, alert minds, and open hearts.

The venue will be Trieste, a city famous for science and neuroscience – a uniquely appropriate place to explore the extent to which reading helps the brain to develop.

An all-important aspect of our work at IBBY is to maintain the visibility of children’s literature and awareness among adults. What is the public perception? How much space does the mainstream media reserve for children’s literature, and what role do social networks play? It is hoped that the outcome of our debate will lead to the development of new strategies.

Borders are lines drawn up by man to impose limits, erect walls, and exclude. Frontiers, on the other hand, are spaces where differences meet, experience is exchanged and knowledge gained. They are places at the forefront where the need to find new ways of communicating leads to stereotypes being cast aside and alternatives becoming a reality. Indeed, for IBBY, a builder of bridges of books between peoples and nations, the whole question of Frontiers is of key importance. Many national and international projects are implemented to ensure respect for children and their rights, one of which is the right to good books, enshrined in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet, these rights are violated every day.

All languages are invaluable and worth passing on. Growing up bilingual is an opportunity. For the individual, it means developing a more open, creative mindset, a greater ability to learn other languages and see the world from different viewpoints. For communities, it means recognizing diversity but especially, fostering a sense of belonging among all members. Projects to build bridges between languages and cultures lead to considerations of translation, preserving mother tongues, and cultural roots – not as a factor of isolation but rather of openness and enrichment.

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