来源:International Publishing Journal



Wally De Doncker

President of International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)

  As president of IBBY I have to tell you about IBBY’s mission and activities: Since its beginnings in 1953, IBBY has steadily grown. As you all know, it has not always been easy to find funding. Still, the initiatives kept on coming and IBBY evolved into what it is today. One of our objectives is battling illiteracy. IBBY takes this battle further than most other NGOs that are concerned with the promotion of learning to read. IBBY wants to promote a reading culture and give every child the opportunity to become a lifelong reader and this is only possible if the child enjoys reading. To help this along, IBBY focuses on quality literature for children.

  A UN report states that 40% of all children in the world cannot read; half a billion women today are still completely illiterate. These figures really are cause for concern.

  The closing of libraries, often as a result of financial cutbacks, is also a cause for deep concern. I love libraries! I became who I am today through reading, but until my tenth birthday, our village did not have a library. Even so, my hunger for literature was substantial. My mother bought me a new book every month from the newsagents. In class, once a month we could choose a book to take home and read... it was not enough. Everything changed when a small library was built in the village. Finally, plenty of books became available for me to read whenever I wanted. I am still grateful to our village librarian. IBBY is exemplary when it comes to addressing this issue by supporting existing libraries, establishing new ones and creating innovative solutions to take books to children.

  These have included such activities as the motorbike libraries in Indonesia, the village libraries in India, the camel libraries in Mongolia, the container libraries in Ghana, right through to the latest initiative – the Library of Dreams in El Salvador. Another is the provision of library cards for the children crossing into the USA from the dreadful reality of Central America and for the refugee children arriving in Canada.

  I would like to advocate for a bigger role for libraries in our society. They can be a haven for all children.

  I read in the Indian Express of October 28 that in India there are still hundreds of villages and small towns, and even many urban communities, where children do not read or have access to books. This is very hard to imagine in 2018.

  In the UK, research done by the National Literacy Trust has shown that three quarters of a million schoolchildren do not own a book, of those boys of all ages and teenagers being most likely not to have any.

  According to an analysis by Tim Coates, the former Waterstones managing director turned library campaigner, loans of children’s books in England alone have dropped by 22% in the last five years, due to “the burden of the collapsing libraries falling on children in big cities”. Across Birmingham, for instance, the decline in children’s book loans increased to 32%; in Newcastle, it is 35%, and in Sheffield 56%.

  During the international IBBY Congress in Auckland, in August 2016, the national sections of IBBY addressed the question of refugee children and their access to books in the context of the current refugee crisis, which is still having a global impact. Many IBBY sections in various parts of the world have already initiated projects and activities to address this crisis.

  The tiny Italian island of Lampedusa opened its first library for children and adolescents last September after many years of work by the project’s volunteers. Deborah Soria, the head of the project for IBBY Italy said the library for Italian and migrant children living on the island, had been long in the works, “Lampedusa is a piece of Italy where there are 1,000 Italian children and many migrant minors are residents. The library will offer them the right to have access to information and literature and has a symbolic value, turning on a light for the whole world from the centre of the Mediterranean.”

IBBY Library in Lampedusa, Italy

  Last year an international selection of 100 books for children and young people in Arabic was collated by the Arab World Reading Committee of the journal Takam Tikou, with the help of professionals from the French National Library/IBBY France, the Institute of the Arab world, and the Libraries of the City of Paris. The list was originally in French and is now available in English. IBBY Ireland was involved, along with IBBY France, IBBY UK and IBBY Europe, with the English translation of this exceptional catalogue.

  I was very happy to hear the news released in December that IBBY Pakistan will establish 640 IBBY libraries to children in the remote areas of Baluchistan, Baltistan and Punjab. In the Baluchistan region the female literacy rate stands between 3% and 8%. The fact that girls in that region are not taught how to read is unacceptable. I am very excited about this wonderful project of IBBY Pakistan.

  IBBY has long advocated for all children to have the right to have access to great literature, and our organisation works to protect the rights of all children whenever this is needed. IBBY believes that every child everywhere in the world must have access to books and the opportunity to become a reader in the fullest sense. IBBY sees this as a fundamental right and the doorway to empowerment for every child. It is our duty to always treat children and young people with the respect they deserve.


  A Wally De Doncker

  Q Zhang Wenjing Program Officer of Chinese Culture Translation and Studies Support

  Q Could you introduce the basic information of the children’s book market in your country?

  A With an artistic tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages, which they constantly renew and translate into their own style, some Belgian illustrators are international class. And with their precision, their powers of suggestion, their humor and their gift for depicting complex characters, Belgian authors for children are very important. Some of them reach international recognition. What I appreciate of my Belgian publisher is they give me the possibility to experiment.

  Q Children’s book is the window for kids to observe the world, so what factors do you think contribute to an excellent children’s book?

  A Different factors:

  •A good story

  •Open mindedness of the author

  •Overflow from text to enriching illustration

  •A well-kept edition with consultation between author, editor, illustrator and designer.

  Q How do you think of the increasing influence of Chinese children’s book in the international market?

  A Cao Wenxuan was the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Award Winner, the little Noble Prize of children’s literature. This recognition is very important how the rest of world sees the contemporary Chinese children’s literature.

  Q How do you think the issue of localization when children’s books export to another country?

  A I applaud the cooperation between Chinese illustrators and writers from other cultures and at the same time the cooperation between Chinese authors and foreign illustrators. It is also important to give language training to translators. It is still hard to find excellent translators from other languages than English and vice versa. The Chinese publishing industry needs to invest in good translators.