The Library of Congress on December 6 and 7 will host the first International Summit of the Book, a gathering of leaders in academia, libraries, culture and technology to debate and discuss the powerful and crucial form of information transmittal: the book.
“Books in their many forms are nothing short of imperative to an informed democracy,” said James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress. “The ability to read is the key to a good life and a functioning society. But the book itself – whether on paper or an electronic format – is unique in its power: this long-form presentation of a concept or story is the key to converting mere information into knowledge.”
The summit will take place in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Keynote speeches and panels throughout the two-day event will be free and open to the public. Registration is required at www.loc.gov/international-book-summit/; the site will be available beginning Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Speakers for the two-day event will include David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chief executive of the Carlyle Group and a major supporter of literacy initiatives at the Library of Congress; Rep. John Larson of Connecticut, who was instrumental in conceiving the summit; Ismail Serageldin, director of the Library of Alexandria and director of the World Digital Library Executive Council; Rep. Elizabeth Eisenstein, historian of early printing; Caroline Brazier, director of The British Library; Anton Likhomanov, director general of the National Library of Russia; Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, director of the National Library of Spain; Ramón Mujica Pinilla, director of the Biblioteca Nacional del Peru; and John Kgwale Tsebe, national librarian of the National Library of South Africa.
Also appearing will be rare-book experts Michael Suarez of the University of Virginia and Mark Dimunation and Daniel DeSimone of the Library of Congress; Marie Arana, an author, writer-at-large for the Washington Post and senior consultant to the Librarian of Congress; Tom Allen, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers; James Shapiro, vice president of the Authors Guild; Nan Talese, senior vice president and publisher at Doubleday; Geoff Kloske, president and publisher at Riverhead/Penguin books; Karen Lotz, president and publisher at Candlewick Press; and Niko Pfund, president and publisher at Oxford University Press.
The Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office Maria Pallante will speak, as will author Walter Dean Myers, currently designated by the Librarian of Congress as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
A complete schedule will be announced in coming weeks.
Read the Complete Announcement