President of IBBY Council together with Heads of IBBY UK and IBBY Malaysia will speak at the Forum

Mingzhou Zhang, a Chinese book publisher and head of the world's largest organization dedicated to the development of children's and youth literature (IBBY) will come to Saint Petersburg for the first time to take part in the events of the Literature and Reading Section. The list of the Section's experts will also include his colleagues: Pamela Dix, Head of the UK branch of the Board, and Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin, Chairman of IBBY Malaysia.


Mingzhou Zhang (PRC) heads the IBBY Council, within the framework of which the 2020 37th IBBY International Congress will be held in Moscow, which many industry professionals compare to winning the right to host the Olympic Games. Mingzhou Zhang organized the 30th IBBY World Congress held in Macau in 2006. Until 2018, he worked as the Secretary General of the International Division of the CCPPG Publishing House, which specializes in children's literature and press. He is also the publisher and Executive Vice President of the China Society for the Study of Children's Literature.

"The Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum is a truly global cultural event in which top-class experts from around the world take part and discuss the most important topics. I will be glad to participate in the conference dedicated to the book space of the 21st century since I consider it necessary to exchange experiences and discuss the problems and concerns in this field", says Mingzhou Zhang. 

The IBBY leader will take part in several events of the Program: first of all, he will speak at the conference Book Space of the 21st Century. Publishing Houses, Libraries, Bookstores, and Digital Resources, where he will express his opinion on how digital technologies change the specifics and quality of reading, why they contribute to the development of the book industry, and which formats of work with young readers are most successful today. In the run-up to the World Congress in Moscow, the expert will share his forecasts on its conduct and on how the experience of the International Council can help develop the children's literature industry in Russia.

The Forum will also be attended by President of IBBY Malaysia Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin and Chairman of IBBY UK Pamela Dix. Both experts will speak at the round table Laboratory of Knowledge: Popular Science Literature for Children and Youth, which will analyze the latest trends in the international and domestic market of popular science literature for children and adolescents.

Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin will share the experience of book publishing in the field of non-fiction for preschool children and the results of national literacy promotion programs in Malaysia, the country to host the next IBBY Congress in 2022. IBBY UK Chairman Pamela Dix, who has worked her way up from a school librarian to a teacher at London Metropolitan University, will tell about the experience of working with children and youth audiences in the UK. Pamela Dix is currently combining her work on a handbook on the history of illustration with the management of the Akili Trust charity fund dedicated to the construction of libraries in rural Kenya.

"I firmly believe in the IBBY mission to achieve common international understanding through the development of children's literature, and I also believe that children's books can change people's lives. Discussions and conversations are important helpers in this path. I am interested in communicating with colleagues all around the world and directly at the Forum, especially at a time when nationalism and limited views are becoming increasingly popular in some countries," Pam Dix comments.

About IBBY World Congress

IBBY World Congresses are held every two years in the countries of the world with operating national sections of the Board. On September 5-7, 2020 the Congress will be held for the first time in Russia, in Moscow. IBBY Congresses bring together professionals from all over the world working in the field of youth and children's literature – writers, illustrators, publishers, translators, journalists, scientists, and public figures. The main goals of the Board are: promoting the development of international understanding through children's books; promoting the publication and distribution of children's books of high literary and artistic value and creating the conditions for their availability from anywhere in the world. IBBY has official status in UNESCO and UNICEF and in its activities is guided by the principles of the UN International Convention on the Rights of the Child. The International Board was registered in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1953.

Since 1956, IBBY has been awarding the Hans Christian Andersen Gold Medal, the most prestigious award in the world of children's literature for authors and illustrators, once every two years. The current President of the Board is Zhang Mingzhou (China).