Find the world’s wealth and wisdom through books

To promote books, reading, and the stimulation of creativity through copyright – this is why we celebrate World Book and Copyright Day today and every year on 23 April. In her video message, IFLA President Ingrid Parent addressed the importance of books as irreplaceable sources of knowledge, ideas and innovation. "In books we find the wealth and wisdom of the world", Parent said. Parent also remembered all people who cannot read, "be it through illiteracy, through censorship or through language barriers. When people have no access to books and information, they are excluded from the world’s wealth and wisdom."

Being the primary cultural and scientific institutions for providing information as a public good, libraries play a crucial role to build bridges to books and information by helping people to learn new skills, to discover history and culture or to access remote research findings.

IFLA and its members in more than 150 countries worldwide believe that people, communities and organisations need universal and equitable access to information, ideas and works of imagination for their social, educational, cultural, democratic and economic well-being.

23 April is a symbolic date for world literature, since 23 April 1616 was the date of death of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Initiated in 1995 by UNESCO, this date pays a worldwide tribute to books and their authors, and encourages everyone to discover the pleasure of reading and to gain a renewed respect for the extraordinary contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

The year 2012 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Index Translationum. This international bibliography of translation provides a unique tool for the monitoring of translation flows in the world. Originally created in 1932, it is the oldest program of UNESCO.

More information

World Book and Copyright Day (UNESCO)