Institut Ramon LLull

Barcelona will host IBBY World Congress 2028, the world’s most important meeting place for Literature for Children and Young People.

Literature.  17/03/2023

The Executive Committee of IBBY International has chosen Barcelona’s candidacy from a shortlist of four cities that included Accra (Ghana), Suwon (Korea), and Sharjah (Arabian Emirates). Under the theme ‘Reading is a universal right’, IBBYcat wants to honour one of the founding values of the parent entity, IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People).

At Bologna’s Children’s Book Fair, the most important global meeting place for the sector, IBBY’s Executive Director, Carolina Ballester, announced in a press conference the designation of Barcelona to host World Congress in 2028. In the same event, were unveiled the poster and the message of this year’s International Children’s Book Day celebrated annually on April 2nd, the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, and announced the candidatures to the Andersen Award 2024 and IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People. Delegates from the Government of Catalonia, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports, and other agents of the sector attended the event.

The IBBY International Congresses take place every two years in one city of the 82 countries that are members of the institution. The congresses are the context for the following objectives:
- Bringing together experts and agents of the international scene of Children’s and Young Adult Books, mostly the ones linked to IBBY.
- Disseminate, share, and exchange ideas, studies, and projects related to the promotion of books and Reading.
- The celebration of the IBBY General Assembly.
- The celebration of the IBBY Awards ceremony.

The competition to Barcelona 2028

Spain is the first section of IBBY that held three previous congresses:
Madrid - 1964
Sevilla- 1994
Santiago de Compostela - 2010

The 38th IBBY World Congress was celebrated in Putrajaya, Malaysia from 5-8 September 2022. The next congresses will take place in:
Trieste, Italy
39th IBBY World Congress: from 30 August to 1 September 2024.
Theme: Join the Revolution! Giving Every Child Good Books.

Ottawa, Canada
40th IBBY World Congress: in September 2026.
Theme: Listening to Each Other's Voices.

A collective achievement

The designation of Barcelona is a collective achievement made possible with the commitment and support of all the entities of the sector represented by IBBYcat as well as of the institutions that fully supported the project.
- The Catalan Publishers’ Association (AELLC)
- The Association of Writers in the Catalan Language (AELC)
- The Professional Association of Catalan Illustrators (APIC)
- The Chamber of Books in Catalonia
- The Official College of Librarians and Documentalists of Catalonia
- The Professional Association of Writers “Escrivim”.
- The Bromera Foundation for the Promotion of Reading
- Fundació FULLGremi de Llibreters de Catalunya
- The Publishers Guild from Catalonia (Gremi d'Editors de Catalunya)
- The Documentation Service for Children and Young Adult Literature. Xavier Benguerel Library. Barcelona Libraries Network.
- Barcelona City Council
- The Institut of Catalan Letters (ILC)
- The Institut Ramon Llull
- The Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC)
- Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport

Our commitment, our motto

The candidature of Barcelona was presented under the theme ‘Reading is a universal right. Access to cultures, languages and imagination’, inspired by the vision of IBBY’s founder, Jella Lepman. The German writer, journalist, and activist founded the institution in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1953 with the purpose of healing the wounds caused by the Second World War through Literature for Children and Young Adults.

The figures of the event:

Duration: 3 days and a half
Attendance: 600 professionals, with delegates from all parts of the value chain, but most experts, librarians, and professors.
Activity: over 100 activities programmed for several audiences and connected to the city.

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