Thursday 1 June 2017

BEYOND WORDS: IBBY Ireland's Silent Books Exhibition Opens in Tralee Library, 2-19 June

Silent Books – Lampedusa (final destination)
Following the successful first leg of its Irish tour in South Dublin Libraries and Dún Laoghaire, an international exhibition of picture books is now coming to Tralee Library in County Kerry.

The Irish section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is proud to introduce Silent Books, a travelling exhibition of over 100 recent, exciting, wordless picture books from around the world, from Mexico to the US via Denmark, Iran and beyond.

From 2-19 June 2017, the collection will visit Tralee Library, where a host of events will bring it to life. The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council will launch the exhibition in the library at 10am on Friday 2nd June. Other events include Nation Creation workshops run by author, Debbie Thomas, as featured on RTÉ's News2day. Regular activities will showcase the collection with special Silent Books story times and local schools will visit the exhibition throughout June.

Silent Books – wordless children's books
This exhibition came about in response to the arrival of refugees from Africa and the Middle East on the Italian island of Lampedusa. IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People) launched the project, Silent Books, from the world to Lampedusa and back, in 2012. The project involved creating the first library on Lampedusa, to be used by local and immigrant children.

The second part of the project created a collection of silent books (wordless picture books) that could be understood and enjoyed by children regardless of language. These books were collected from IBBY National Sections – over one hundred titles from over twenty countries. One set of books was deposited at the documentation and research archive in Rome (Palazzo della Esposizioni), another was delivered to the library in Lampedusa and a further set forms part of the travelling exhibition that is now touring Ireland.

Jane O’Hanlon, President of Ibby Ireland says:
"This amazing Silent Book project began in 2013, in order to establish the first library at Lampedusa for use by local and immigrant children. Since then, it has travelled widely, including to Mexico, Italy, Austria, Canada and others of the seventy member nations of IBBY International. Now, it is Ireland's turn and we are excited to be able to host it at venues around the country. The project is motivated by the idea that every child has a right to become a reader. By highlighting 'wordless' books as a seed collection, IBBY ensures that it is accessible to every child who visits it, no matter of what age, language or culture. IBBY Ireland, a volunteer organisation, is thrilled and excited to have this collection touring in Ireland."

Sara Keating, The Irish Times:
"How can a book speak when it has no words? Powerfully, through pictures alone. (…) The exhibition is designed to draw attention to the key role that silent books can play in crossing cultural boundaries and promoting literacy."
Silent Books exhibition

Further information about this exhibition is available from IBBY Ireland, the local branch of IBBY International, an international network of people from all over the world, who are committed to bringing books and children together.

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