Putrajaya to host IBBY Congress 2022

PUTRAJAYA – Putrajaya will be the focus of children’s book writers and publishers next year as the 38th International Board on Books For Young People (IBBY) Congress has been scheduled to be held here from Sept 5 to 8, 2022.

Some 800 delegates from 83 countries including Finland, Russia and Indonesia are expected to attend the event organised by Putrajaya Corporation, which will include seminars and presentation of proposal papers.

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PPj president Datuk Muhammad Azmi Mohd Zain said the congress themed ‘The Power of Stories’ would further explore the multiple ways literary craft can be of benefit to children’s literature, cultures and education systems around the world.

“This congress also has the potential to help export local book contents to the international level,” he told Bernama after the note of collaboration signing ceremony between Muhammad Azmi of PPj and Malaysian Board on Books for Young People (MBBY) president, Datuk Ahmad Redza Ahmad, here today.

The signing was witnessed by PPj Corporate Services Department senior vice-president Datuk Fadlun Mak Ujud and MBBY secretary Eda Suhana Sharudin.

According to Muhammad Azmi, the collaboration note aims to establish further cooperation with MBBY for the successful organisation of IBBY 2022, the first to be hosted by Malaysia.

He hoped the congress to be held under the new norm, would go as planned without any problems in all aspects, including the opening of international borders, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hopefully it would be full recovery by then to allow the congress to be a physical event, but we can still hold it online (if necessary),” he said.

Apart from benefiting local writers, he said IBBY 2022 could also boost the tourism industry with the increase in hotel reservations, transportation services and other commercial activities in Putrajaya.

The organisers have also planned to paint children’s storybook murals in Putrajaya whereby a QR code will be provided to describe the story behind the murals as part of IBBY 2022 attraction.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Redza said the congress could cultivate a reading culture among children.

“We tend to focus more on children’s success in their examinations and regard school textbooks as reading materials but there is a vast amount of reading resources in the country that can help nurture a reading culture.

“IBBY 2022 will facilitate inclusive discussions to promote children’s interest and instill a passion for reading,” he added.