In his introduction to the first annual International Summit of the Book, Dr. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress noted that the ability to read is “the key to a good life and a functioning society,” and whether it’s in the customary paper format or an e-book, its power is unique, and is “the key to converting mere information into knowledge," and the wisdom that comes from greater understanding. Dr. Billington also expressed thanks to Newman's Own foundation for making the International Summit of the Book possible. Named for its founder, the late actor and director Paul Newman, the foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sales of Newman’s Own products into charitable donations.
Last year’s inaugural event at the Library of Congress, held on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6-7, 2012, featured more than three dozen experts on rare books, literacy, and the history of books -- including several presentations about the value of literature and the role that the book has played in human knowledge and culture, worldwide – as well as a consideration of the modern tools of communication as they will have bearing on the future of the book.
It was announced at the closing ceremony that Singapore will host the 2013 International Summit of the Book, “A Book By Any Other Name,” which will take place at the National Library of Singapore, on Aug. 17-23, 2013. Elaine Ng, chief executive officer of the National Library Board of Singapore, invited supporters of literacy worldwide to attend.
We look forward to an insightful debate on the evolving concept of the book from an Asian perspective," Ng said. "We are privileged to have professor Tommy Koh, Singapore’s ambassador-at-large and former ambassador to the United Nations, as chairman of the organizing committee.
The Singapore summit will also bring together academics, and other experts and leaders from libraries, and technology, for a wide ranging discussion among many diverse participants.
Several of the presentations are also available on C-SPAN’s BookTV, including “Copyright and the Book: A Conversation about Authors, Publishers and the Public Interest,” moderated by Maria Pallante, Register of Copyrights & Director, U.S. Copyright Office, with panelists Tom Allen, President & CEO, Association of American Publishers, James S. Shapiro, Shakespearean Scholar, Columbia University; Vice President, Authors Guild, and Peter Jaszi, Professor of Copyright Law, American University; as well as “The Publishing World Yesterday and Today,” moderated by Marie Arana, Author; Literary Critic; Senior Consultant, Library of Congress, with Nan Talese, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Doubleday, Geoffrey Kloske, President and Publisher, Riverhead/Penguin Books, Karen Lotz, President and Publisher, Candelwick Press, and Niko Pfund, President and Publisher, Oxford University Press.
Another presentation, “Using Lessons of the Past to Guide the Future,” was moderated by Michael Suarez, S.J., Professor of English Literature and Director of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, Karen Keninger, Chief, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Thomas Mallon, Novelist, Critic, Director Creative Writing Program, George Washington University, and Fenella G. France, Chief, Preservation, Restoration & Test Division, Library of Congress; and "The Role of Cultural Institutions in Fostering the Future of the Book," moderated by Sir Harold Evans, former publisher and president of Random House, with Carla Hayden, chief executive officer of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library and Ira Silverberg, literature director for the National Endowment of the Arts.
A discussion entitled, "Reading is Not an Option" featured Walter Dean Meyers, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and John Y. Cole, Director of the Library of Congress' Center for the Book and the recipient of the American Library Association’s Lippincott Award.
Other presentations may also be available, both at the Library of Congress website and on C-SPAN, at BookTV.org.