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Auckland books top international congress

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Auckland has hosted the 35th International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) International Congress, welcoming more than 450 delegates from 62 different countries.

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Auckland welcomes leading international authors to IBBY International Congress

kapa-hakaThis biennial gathering of teachers, librarians, writers, illustrators, publishers and non-government organisations interested in literature and literacy for young people was held in August at the Aotea Centre – the first time in 70 years it has been held in the Oceania region.

The theme of this year’s congress was “literature in a multi-literate world” and featured a mix of local and international speakers, including Cao Wenxuan, the winner of the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award for writing and Leigh Hobbs, the current Australian Children’s Laureate.

In addition, Markus Zusak (the author of international bestseller The Book Thief; Raina Telgemeier (creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award–winning graphic novels Smile and Sisters) and Martin Baynton and Sir Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop also gave presentations.

Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) worked with Dr Libby Limbrick – part of ACB’s Auckland Advocate Alliance and chair of Storylines Literature Charitable Trust, the New Zealand section of IBBY – and her co-director Rosemary Tisdall, to secure the congress for Auckland.

“In 2010 we decided to bid for New Zealand to host the congress in 2016,” said Dr Limbrick.

“ACB helped Storylines pull together a compelling proposal which was successful against bids from four other countries. ACB’s support of Storylines, a voluntary organisation, was superb – invaluable in providing the expertise and support.

“Feedback from the delegates has been overwhelmingly positive, with many international delegates very enthusiastic about their experience in Auckland saying they’ll be back again one day.”

ACB manager Anna Hayward says she was pleased to see the congress saw well received by attendees.

“While there’s often long lead times between bidding, winning, and finally hosting events, the lasting legacy they create is invaluable, thanks to the relationships they build and the insights and research that are shared,” Hayward said.

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