The Dutch IBBY Section was established in 1953 and is not affiliated to any another organization or institution. Volunteers without any paid staff or office run it.
Because the world of children’s books is well organized in the Netherlands, the Dutch IBBY Section focuses on supporting IBBY sections in less fortunate countries. Several times the Dutch IBBY Section has sponsored the international dues of other sections: Latvia, Lithuania, Uruguay and Bulgaria, as well as some projects of other IBBY sections.
The Dutch IBBY Section supported IBBY Latvia when it set up the Children’s Literature Centre in the National Library in Riga. There is also a bond of friendship with the Uruguayan IBBY-section and this has also, just as with Latvia, resulted in several common projects. Currently the Dutch Section is establishing another bond of friendship, this time with IBBY Indonesia.
The Frisian language, which is spoken in northern Netherlands, has a literary tradition of its own. The IBBY Section works in close co-operation with the foundation It Fryske Berneboek (The Frisian Children’s Book). This foundation gives advice for projects where Frisian books are involved.
Dutch IBBY organizes the annual Day for the Friends of IBBY, sometimes together with other organizations. The section is co-organizer of Conferences for children’s book writers and translators from Germany, Flanders, Frieslân, and the Netherlands. The next conference will be in February 2011 in Antwerp (Belgium). The section is also co-organizer of the yearly Annie M.G. Schmidt lectures at Leiden University.
The Section has its own award, the Jenny Smelik/IBBY prize (2.000 Euro), named after the children's book author Jenny Smelik, who died in 1980. It is given every two years to the author and/or illustrator and/or instigator of a children's book that has contributed to a better understanding of minorities, especially ethnic minorities. Preference is given to books originally written and published in Dutch.
- In 2012 the prize-winning book was Trash by Andy Mulligan (published by Gottmer, translation Esther Ottens). A special mention (500 euro) was given to Michael De Cock (text) and Judith Vanistendael (illustrations) for their book ‘Rosie en Moussa’ (published by Querido ).
Miep Diekmann was awarded in April 2006 with Honorary Membership of IBBY: a great honour! Diekmann has devoted her life to books for young people and her role in guiding young authors and illustrators in the Netherlands, as well as elsewhere, cannot be underestimated. The special attention that children’s books enjoy in the Netherlands and the success of Dutch IBBY is largely due to her efforts
A course on evaluating children’s literature is organized annually. Every year there are 25 participants and nearly every critic and publisher in the Netherlands has participated in this course. In 2009 the course was given in Leeuwarden, in the north of the Netherlands. In 2010 the course will be given in Amsterdam.
The IBBY-section is co-organizer of the yearly Tilburg University symposium about Children’s literature. Every January this symposium is visited by more than 250 participants. In 2011 a master specially about children’s literature will start. IBBY will participate in this master.
The IBBY-section is the secretariat of the working group for researchers of children’s literature. Yearly a workshop is organized, in 2007 (Tilburg) and 2008 (The Hague) in The Netherlands and in 2009 (Antwerp) in Belgium. In 2010 the workshop will be in the Netherlands (Tilburg) again and in 2012 in Belgium (Gent).
Twice a year an IBBY Newsletter (in Dutch) is published and is distributed to all the friends-of-IBBY, the board-members of the Flemish branch of Belgian IBBY, and several (inter)national organizations.
Literatuur zonder leeftijd (Literature without age) is the only magazine in The Netherlands that addresses the study of children’s literature. Three issues a year are published. Articles on children’s literature, as well as reports and speeches that reflect the national and international activities surrounding literature for children and young adults; criticism and scientific research; reviews of specialist books and bibliographic notes.
IBBY Dutch http://duijx.net/ibby/