11 April 2018
Two Past IFLA Presidents Participate in the 7th International Summit of the Book
The book retains its status as a symbol of the possibility to preserve and share knowledge, the foundation of our evolution and development. Libraries continue to focus on collecting and giving access to books, alongside other resources now, and have a key function in preserving historic texts for the future.
Ingrid Parent (IFLA President 2011-2013) and Claudia Lux (IFLA President 2007-2009) gave opening remarks on behalf of IFLA and lead two sessions during the 7th International Summit of the Book held in Baku, Azerbaijan. This annual event brought several dozen librarians, academics, politicians and entrepreneurs together to discuss the Book, its past and future.
A Commitment to Books
There was real commitment to the book as THE most successful way of keeping and sharing our cultural heritage across space and time. Themes centred on the book and national development, the book and preserving our cultural heritage, and books, education and media literacy.
Other welcome statements came from by Dr. Ismael Serageldin, Founding Director Emeritus of the Library of Alexandria, and Madame Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia. In addition to Ingrid and Claudia, there was further strong library representation from Jesus Lau (Mexico), Ai-Cheng Tay (Singapore) and Paul Sturges (United Kingdom).
The Summit was made possible by the generous support of the Nizami Ganjavi International Centre in Azerbaijan. The Centre bears the name of the famous Azerbaijani poet and philosopher, who promoted social reforms and values of dialogue, tolerance and peace nine centuries ago. The Centre also hosted the VI Global Baku Forum which immediately preceded the Book Summit.
Libraries in Azerbaijan
Following the Summit the participants had an interesting visit to the National Library of Azerbaijan to view the “Open Library” as well as the Library's special collections. In addition, Ingrid visited the Azeri Presidential Library and met with Director Mayil Ahmedov and staff. Collaborative efforts were discussed and contacts will continue.
Summit participants were immensely impressed with the dialogue and exchange of ideas that took place and with the organization of the Summit and the hospitality of our various hosts.
The 8th International Summit of the Book will be held in November 2018 in Beirut Lebanon.