Udgivet: 10. oktober 2014



On Saturday, 14September 2014 the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) concluded its 34th World Congress with a closing ceremony at the world-renowned Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City.  Thus closing a congress that had attracted over 900 participants!

IBBY is the leading international organization in the promotion of reading and books for young people.  Established by the visionary Jella Lepman following the devastation of the World War II, IBBY is committed to encouraging excellence in children’s books, supporting literacy and reading projects around the world, and developing international understanding through children’s books.

In his maiden speech, the newly elected President of IBBY, Wally De Doncker shared his aims for the future of the organization: “one of our objectives is battling illiteracy.  IBBY wants to promote a reading culture and give every child the opportunity to become a life-long reader and this is only possible if the child enjoys reading.”  He went on to say that, “it is unacceptable that there are countries in this day and age in which girls are banned from reading or even learning to read. It remains unacceptable that children’s libraries are being closed because of financial cutbacks, thus rendering books inaccessible to children from underprivileged families.”  He stressed that IBBY must continue to advocate that all children in all circumstances, have the right to read.

He thanked all the organisers, in particular IBBY Mexico/A leer; saying that for all the participants it was an unforgettable experience and must be one of the highlights of their professional lives.

THE IBBY Executive Committee 2014-2016

The newly elected members of the IBBY Executive Committee for the term 2014-2016 include children’s literature experts from twelve different countries.

President of IBBY

Wally De Doncker (Belgium) is an author and a children’s literature specialist.  Several of his books have been translated and adapted for the theatre, as well as musicals, film animations and dance films.  He served as a member of the IBBY EC from 2008-2012, with the term 2010-2012 as Vice President.  He has been the IBBY liaison with the European Union Commission since 2012.

President of the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury

Patricia Aldana (Canada) founded the Canadian publishing house Groundwood Books and remained its publisher until 2012.   She was elected IBBY President in 2006 and served until 2010. During her time on the EC and as President she was instrumental in establishing the IBBY-Yamada Fund as well as the IBBY Children in Crisis programme.

Vice Presidents

Azucena Galindo (Mexico)is currently the managing director of IBBY Mexico/A leer. She combines on-going studies of children’s literature and reading promotion with her previous professional experience in order to expand the impact of IBBY Mexico’s programmes and projects.   

Akoss Ofori-Mensah (Ghana) is the founder of the award-winning Sub-Saharan Publishing House based in Accra.  Akoss was the elected president of the Ghana Book Publishers’ Association from 2003-2005.

EC Members

Evelyn Freeman (USA) is a Special Assistant for International Projects at the Ohio State University at Mansfield College of Education and Human Ecology.  Evie served as co-editor of the Journal of Children’s Literature, and IBBY’s journal Bookbird.

Ferelith Hordon (UK) worked as a professional children’s librarian for more than 40 years until her retirement from the public library in the London Borough of Wandsworth.  She is currently Editor of the UK on-line children’s book review magazine Books For Keeps.

Sunjidmaa Jamba (Mongolia) is founding member and the current Executive Director of IBBY Mongolia.  She has extensive experience in working within international organizations such as the World Bank.

Angela Lebedeva (Russia) is an expert in children’s libraries and specializes in children’s literature.  She was the Executive Director of IBBY Russia from 2002-2013. Angela also served on the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury for the 2004 and 2006 awards.

Vagn Plenge (Denmark) established his own publishing house in 1976 called Hjulet, which specialises in books by authors and illustrators from what he calls the ‘warm countries’.  He was a member of the IBBY EC from 2002-2006 and was the organiser of the 2008 IBBY World Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.  He is the current President of IBBY Denmark.

Serpil Ural (Turkey) is a founding member of the current IBBY Turkey section. She is also a well-known writer in Turkey and was IBBY Turkey’s author candidate for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Timotea Vrablova (Slovakia) has been a researcher at the Institute of Slovak Literature at the Slovak Academy of Sciences since 1991, working on the literary culture of the 17th and 18th centuries and children’s literature.  She has been the President of the Slovak IBBY section since 2010.

Mingzhou Zhang (China) is currently Vice President of the Chinese section of IBBY.  He served on the IBBY EC from 2008 to 2012 and acted as chair of the 2012 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award. He was the organizer of the 2006 IBBY World Congress in Macau, China.

Non-voting Members

Ellis Vance (USA)was re-confirmed as IBBY Treasurer.  Ellis, a former education consultant California has been treasurer for USBBY since 2000 and for IBBY since 2008.  He served as IBBY Vice President from 2006-2008.

Björn Sundmark(Sweden) was confirmed as the Bookbird Editor for the next four-year term.  Björn is an Associate Professor of English at the Faculty of Education, Mälmo University, Sweden.

The firm Fröhlicher Treuhand (Switzerland) was re-elected as IBBY Auditor.

Liz Page was reconfirmed as IBBY Executive Director and Luzmaria Stauffenegger as Administrative Assistant at the IBBY Secretariat in Basel, Switzerland.

To find out more about IBBY and the new members of its Executive Committee, please visit


For interviews or pictures of the Congress, contact the IBBY Secretariat in Basel, Switzerland: or, or call +41 272 29 17