As Banned Books Week comes to a close, I am attending the IBBY Regional Conference in Chicago. Several years ago, I volunteered to serve as a liaison from YALSA to USBBY (The US Board on Books for Youth, the American division of IBBY, International Board on Books for Youth). Now, I serve as the NCTE liaison. Every 2 years, the US hosts an IBBY Regional Conference. For two days, we listen to presentations from educators, librarians, and leaders from other countries discuss the importance of books and reading.
Today I am thinking about how, when there are NO books to give to kids from other countries, we are denying them access as well. I hope this makes sense. Millions, more likely billions, of children never see a book or a library or a librarian. And that is when some wonderful people come on the scene and design projects to do just that. I have been tweeting from the conference about these remarkable folks and the lengths they go to to ensure kids grow up reading. So, despite all of the bad news from BBW (so many new challenges), I end on this positive note: there are people fighting to provide books to all the children of the world. Maybe we can all help in some way. For more information, visit the USBBY site at: www.usbby.org.