UNESCO promotes ‘learning for all’ during World Book and Copyright Day

On 25 April 2022, an event took place at the Delhi Public Library (DPL) to commemorate World Book and Copyright Day 2022. It was co-organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

When addressing the group of librarians, educators and students, UNESCO New Delhi Director Eric Falt highlighted the important role the libraries play, especially during a period when the global pandemic has disrupted education systems globally. He called for innovative solutions including development of digital libraries and e-learning platforms to ensure inclusive learning.

Books have been an integral part of human conscience for ages. They have played a central role in social and independence movements and have stimulated minds over centuries. The global health pandemic has further exacerbated the demand for books as an outlet for knowledge generation and creation, and most importantly for combating isolation.
Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director

The inaugural session was followed by a discussion on the theme ‘The Turning Page: Print, Online and Copyright Issues’ with eminent speakers and scholars working on issues related to copyrights. The panel included: Dr Nabi Hasan, Head, Central Library, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Dr S.K. Arora, former University Librarian, Indira Gandhi National Open University; and Dr Rajesh Singh, University Librarian, Delhi University. The discussion was moderated by Dr R. K. Chadha, former Additional Secretary, Parliament of India.

In 2022, the Mexican City of Guadalajara is taking up the mantle of World Book Capital, with a year-long programme that focuses on the role of books and reading in triggering social change, combating violence and building a culture of peace.

The book reading culture is embedded in Indian society. Libraries have a crucial role to play in preserving books, especially public libraries like ours, which ensures that knowledge is made accessible to all. Since its inception in 1951—as a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and UNESCO, we have been making sure that learning never stops.
Dr R K Sharma, Director General, Delhi Public Library

Proclaimed by the UNESCO’s General Conference, in Paris in 1995, 23 April was chosen as World Book and Copyright Day as a worldwide tribute to books and authors encouraging everyone to access books. On this day, UNESCO calls on its partners to share the message that books are a force to address contemporary challenges, to understand political   and   economic   realities, and to   combat   inequalities   and   misinformation.

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