Thanks to Richard Bamberger, co-founder of IBBY with Jella Lepman, the Austrian Section of IBBY was one of the original sections that joined IBBY in 1953. The original Section was a joint venture of the Austrian Children’s Book Club and the Austrian Children’s Book Commission hosted by the Ministry of Education. This gave way to the foundation of the International Institute of Children’s Literature and Reading Research, which still serves as the office of the Austrian IBBY Section and provides equipment and staff.
The members the Austrian Section of IBBY are : The International Institute for Children´s Literature and Reading Research, Graphic Design Austria (GDA), the Austrian Research Society on Children’s and Juvenile Literature, the Austrian Children’s Book Club, the Study and Information Centre on Children’s Literature and the Association of Translators.
Besides participation in the usual IBBY activities, the section runs meetings and conferences, courses and seminars, exhibitions and fairs, these include:
- Literature for Young Readers: a literature week held each year in Spring, including author readings, drama, painting and drawing, informal talks with authors, and many other types of animation.
- A comprehensive exhibition of books for children and young adults that encourages children to read and informs adults about the rich variety of books in the market.
- "Wissenswelten". Children exploring the Austrian National Library. Guided literature tours through the premises of the Austrian National Library for school classes (age 6-14).
The Austrian National Section through its Secretariat, the Institute, cooperates with all the groups in the country involved in children’s literature through lectures, guidance for students and teachers in in-service training, readings and book exhibitions in schools, compilation of booklists and training of school librarians.