The Power of Stories: Reflections on the IBBY Congress 2022 – part 4

by | Oct 5, 2022 | Blog

Evelyn Arizpe
Evelyn Arizpe

IBBY President and EC Members 2020-2022

The Power of Stories – A Happy Ending

As I come to the end of four years as part of IBBY’s Executive Committee, it is bittersweet to say goodbye to my EC colleagues in Putrajaya. It has been such a privilege to have been part of a group of people from around the world that are connected by their love of books and desire to support children’s rights globally. Over two terms, I have worked with people from Lebanon, Pakistan, USA, South Africa, France, Ghana, China, Chile, Iran, Russia, Germany, Malaysia, Switzerland and Italy. It has been a truly humbling experience to have collaborated with so many passionate and talented individuals who work so tirelessly to support reading and children’s literature in their own countries and around the world.

Together, we have supported the work of IBBY, taking part in meetings to review policies, finances, the future of IBBY and to be part of juries and committees for IBBY’s various reading promotion awards and programmes. I will be saying goodbye to some dear friends and welcoming a new cohort of EC members as well as a new Executive Director, Carolina Ballester, who takes up the baton from Liz Page after 25 years with the Secretariat. A big thank you to all my EC and IBBY colleagues.

There are big challenges ahead but with a group of dedicated and committed people, IBBY is sure to thrive and build connections between people, as Jella Lepman had hoped so many years ago. I encourage anyone who believes in ‘The Power of Stories’ to connect with your national section and become part of a worldwide community of book lovers.

For more about IBBY, its history and legacy, here’s new IBBY President Sylvia Vardell, Liz Page (outgoing IBBY Executive Director) Carolina Ballester (incoming IBBY Executive Director), Patsy Aldana (President of the IBBY Trust) and Ellis Vance (IBBY Treasurer) discussing ‘Seven Decades of IBBY: Past and Future’ on the last day of the congress.


For more information:

  • All recordings of plenary session presentations, including opening and closing ceremonies, as well as gala dinner and award presentation ceremonies have been uploaded on the MBBY YouTube Channel. You can view sessions you may have missed, and revisit those you wish to see again. These can be accessed here.
  • The virtual exhibition in conjunction with the Congress has been extended and you can re-visit the platform here: Power of Stories Virtual Exhibition – IBBY Congress 2022.
  • Visit the congress website:

Sophie Hallam attended the 38th IBBY World Congress in Putrajaya, Malaysia, from 4-9 September. In this series of blogs, she shares her experience at the congress and reflections on her final term on IBBY’s Executive Committee (EC), after serving two consecutive terms.