‘I am a book, read me’ is the theme of this year’s International Children’s Book Day, and SC&I, Rutgers University Libraries-New Brunswick, and New Brunswick Public Libraries are hosting a virtual and in-person event on April 7, 2023, at the Alexander Library, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, at 11:30 a.m. EST, to celebrate this special day, which is officially marked every year on April 2. The event is free and open to the public.
“This year our celebration will include readings and performances in many languages including Arabic, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish and more, and it will also include highlights from Rutgers’ growing International Youth Literature Collection that now approaches over 1000 circulating volumes,” said SC&I Associate Professor of Practice, Library and Information Science, Marc Aronson, who is co-organizing the event.
He added, “It will also bring together many other departments within Rutgers including the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, The Rutgers English Language Institute (RELI), and the Zimmerli Art Museum.”
Dee Magnoni, Associate University Librarian for Rutgers-New Brunswick, said: "We are honored to have partnered with SC&I over the past several years to develop the International Youth Literature Collection and celebrate International Children's Book Day. We hope this event will become a cherished tradition for New Brunswick Libraries, the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus, and the broader community.” As a devoted supporter of children's literature across different cultures, Magnoni will speak at the event on April 7.
Since the event is held and live-streamed while schools are in session, in 2022 a school librarian live-streamed it to her students.
According to The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY.org), a non-profit organization located in Basel, Switzerland that launched the first International Children’s Book Day in 1967, this year IBBY Greece is the day’s official sponsor.
IBBY Greece “is honored,” they wrote, “to be the official sponsor of International Children’s Book Day 2023, designing a poster for IBBY sections around the world to promote books and reading.”
IBBY said the Greek artist Photini Stephandidi, who created this year’s International Children’s Book Day 2023 illustration; Greek author Vagelis Iliopoulos, who created the theme; and Michalis Varouxis, who created the poster and message design, “collaborated to create a poster that celebrates the power of children’s books in the promotion of the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and connect people in a world of tolerance and understanding.”
Describing the origins of the celebration, IBBY explained, “since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books. Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries.”
All are invited to register to either watch the event live online or to attend in person.
Please register here:
To watch online: https://rutgers.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwscOyhrjMoEtZqiKzwTd06gcJxpzWyP1UP
To attend in person: https://rutgers.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_24Q0LjnXqbe1T3E
Learn more about the Library and Information Studies Department at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information on the website.