The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.
to promote international understanding through children's books
to give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards
to encourage the publication and distribution of quality children's books, especially in developing countries
to provide support and training for those involved with children and children's literature
to stimulate research and scholarly works in the field of children's literature
to protect and uphold the Rights of the Child according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
IBBY was founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953. Today, it is composed of seventy five National Sections all over the world. It represents countries with well-developed book publishing and literacy programmes, and other countries with only a few dedicated professionals who are doing pioneer work in children's book publishing and promotion.
The National Sections are organized in many different ways and operate on national, regional and international levels. In countries that do not have a National Section, individual membership in IBBY is possible. Members of the National Sections include authors and illustrators, publishers and editors, translators, journalists and critics, teachers, university professors and students, librarians and booksellers, social workers and parents.
IBBY's policies and programmes are determined by its Executive Committee: ten people from different countries and a President, elected biennially by the National Sections at a General Assembly during the IBBY Congresses. They work on a voluntary basis. The daily management of IBBY's affairs is conducted from its Secretariat in Basel, Switzerland. The annual dues from the National Sections are IBBY's only source of regular income. Independent financing is necessary to support IBBY activities.
As a non-governmental organization with an official status in UNESCO and UNICEF, IBBY has a policy-making role as an advocate of children's books. IBBY is committed to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the United Nations in 1990. One of its main proclamations is the right of the child to a general education and to direct access to information. Thanks to IBBY's insistence, the resolution includes an appeal to all nations to promote the production and distribution of children's books.
IBBY also cooperates with many international organizations and children's book institutions around the world and exhibits at the International Children's Book Fair in Bologna and other international book fairs.
IBBY in the 21st Century
Read an overview by former IBBY President Patsy Aldana of IBBY's activities and aims.