Amsterdam named “World Book Capital 2008”Amsterdam has been chosen as the 2008 “World Book Capital” by a selection committee, comprised of representatives of UNESCO and the three main international organizations representing the book industry, that met at UNESCO on 8 June.
Amsterdam is the eighth city to be designated World Book Capital, after Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006) and Bogotá (2007).
According to the selection committee, Amsterdam was selected because of the quality and diversity of its book promotion programme, its international dimension and the involvement of local, national and international stakeholders, both public and private, in the book sector.
The programme presented by Amsterdam covers some 30 initiatives, a number of them with international scope, focusing on different aspects of publishing. It includes forums on copyright, scientific publication, intercultural aspects of literary creation and children’s books; the opening of new libraries and cultural centres; and several seminars and creative events, such as a costume parade on the theme of heroes in literature for young people.
Every year, UNESCO and the three major branches of the global book industry – the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) – designate a city as World Book Capital for the 12 months between two celebrations of World Book and Copyright Day (23 April). This initiative, taken by UNESCO’s General Conference, is now an integral part of world-wide activities promoting books and reading.
This year, the Selection Committee was made up of Ana Maria Cabanellas, representative of the International Publishers Association (IPA), Françoise Dubruille, representative of the International Booksellers Federation (IBF), Peter Lor, representative of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Georges Poussin for UNESCO.