Hello from the 38th IBBY WorldCongress: The Power of Stories


Greetings from Putrajaya, Malaysia! 

What a wonderful event the 38th IBBY World Congress: The Power of Stories was… Many congratulations and thanks to the congress organizers. (I will endeavour to write a pantun to capture my feelings of gratitude for the experience!) 

The warmth and hospitality of Putrajaya will inspire us as we plan for the 40th World Congress in Ottawa in 2026.

Approximately 300 delegates from 40 countries attended this year’s congress; held for the first time in southeast Asia. While there may be slight paraphrasing, the opening comments from outgoing IBBY president, Mingzhou Zhang (IBBY China) set a wonderful tone for the congress and captured the experience beautifully:

I hope it is an opportunity to meet friends and find inspiration… That the congress renews love of bringing books and children together… That in this challenging and fragile world we find peace and prosperity through children’s books.

In this newsletter, we are delighted to share two congress highlights—the acceptance speeches from individuals and organizations working to bring books and children together in very distant parts of our “fragile world”:

  • Adriana Kusugak, Executive Director, Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council, who received the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotions Award for their Pinnguaqta Program, nominated by IBBY Canada
  • Zohreh Ghaeni (IBBY Iran) who received the 2022 IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award for Read with Me, nominated by IBBY Canada and IBBY Iran

In this time of transition for IBBY, I was thrilled for the opportunity to see Liz Page, in person, as she retires—and send hugs and words of “best wishes” from many to many in Canada who have loved working with her over the past 25 years. 

Also, it was a pleasure to meet Carolina Ballester, the incoming Executive Director. Congratulations, Carolina! All at IBBY Canada are keen to get to know you through our shared passion in bringing books and children together.

Patti McIntosh

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