In 1964 an IBBY Section was established in the former state of Czecho-Slovakia. It was composed of two independent groups, Czech and Slovak. A federal committee, whose headquarters were in Prague, governed them. During its existence the Czecho-Slovak Section was been extremely active in fulfilling the objectives of IBBY. It nominated members of the Executive Committee of IBBY, the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury, as well as for the presidency of the Jury and of IBBY international. The Czecho-Slovak Section of IBBY sponsored International Day of Children Book in 1973 and in 1987. It also organized the 17th Congress of IBBY in Prague in 1980.
Nationally, the Czecho-Slovak Section was successful in supporting the development of children’s reading skills. It also encouraged good quality literature for children and young people, sponsoring not only writers and artists, but also teachers and librarians: the necessary mediators between the child and the book.
In 1992 the states of Czech Republic and Slovakia were established. This led to the formation of two independent sections of IBBY in 1993: the Czech and the Slovakian National Sections.
The activities of the Czech Section are undertaken completely by volunteers, without an office or any major resources. This means that the current activities are rather limited. This lack of resources unfortunately limits the participation of Czech IBBY in the international award programmes: Hans Christian Andersen Awards and the IBBY Honour List. To participate internationally, sponsors must be found, as no state support is allowed for activities outside the country.
Nevertheless, successful projects of national importance are aimed at reading and the support of quality publishing for children and young people: Zlata stuha (Golden Ribbon), national competition for writers of original books for children and young people, annually since 1992; SUK Cteme vsichni (Let’s read), started as a survey of the libraries and their children’s book sections. Its purpose was to find out what kind of books young readers are really interested in. It grew and now each year 200 libraries take part in the project. The competition has three categories: Young Reader Award, Award for the Librarian, and Award for the Teacher. Another main activity is Magnesia Litera, the Czech Section of IBBY is a member of this civic society, allocating awards for the best books. It helps in organization and selection in the field of children’s literature. International activity: BIB Bratislava – The Czech Section of IBBY is the main organizer and sponsor of the Czech national collection of illustrations sent to this prestigious international competition in Slovakia.