world peace, world #bookday

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“In turbulent times, books embody the human capacity to conjure up worlds of reality and imagination and express them in voices of understanding, dialogue and tolerance. They are symbols of hope and dialogue that we must cherish and defend.

William Shakespeare died on 23 April, 1616, preceded by only one day by Cervantes. On this day, I call upon all of UNESCO’s partners to share the message that books are a force to counter, what Shakespeare called, “the common curse of mankind — folly and ignorance.”

Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the World Book and Copyright Day

Turbulent times, indeed.

Tomorrow is UNESCO’s annual World Book and Copyright day. And hats off to them for promoting access to knowledge and information as a driver for prosperity and world peace. Access is an important component of this year’s message, and UNESCO has produced some convincing research about the power of mobile technology and e-books to advance literacy throughout the world:

“Reading is many things, but it always and must necessarily begin with access to text, and more aptly books.” UNESCO, Reading in the Mobile Era

Lots of cool stuff is happening around the world to celebrate book day:

  • UNESCO’s world book day 2016 website
  • Pop up book fairs (called “speed dating for book lovers”)–check here to see if something is happening in your town
  • Map of book day events around the world
  • World Book Day UK (held March 1)–this website is chock full of great stuff
  • In my town, the Ottawa Public Library has put together a book day reading list
  • Share your favourite books on twitter at hashtag #BookDay

April 23rd, 2016 is also the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. UNESCO’s website took me to amazing “Shakespeare Live” education resources produced by the British Council. Not just for teachers–a great resource for students, parents, grandparents, or anyone trying to understand or spark interest in Shakespeare.

Listen how Shakespeare comes alive for a new generation:

 

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