Book and Copyright Day to be Observed April 23


Jamaica and many other countries will celebrate World Book and Copyright Day this Friday, April 23, which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared to be commemorated annually since 1995.
The local celebration, which is being organized by the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, will be held under the theme – ‘The Book: An Instrument for National Development and Wealth Creation’.
As outlined by UNESCO, the objective of the annual exercise is meant to highlight the role of books and copyright in the generation and transmission of ideas, and in the management and protection of the rights of authors.
The observation is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, April 21 with a panel discussion at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, beginning at 5:00 p.m. This discussion will be moderated by noted talk show host, Barbara Gloudon. Publisher, Shirley Carby will present on indigenous publishing and copyright; musician and lecturer, Ibo Cooper will present on the rights of the musician, creator and performer; attorney-at-law and lecturer, Eulalee Greenaway will discuss the ethics of copyright; publisher of e-books, Eileen Heaven will present on e-books and copyright; and Executive Director of the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, Loreen Walker will make a presentation on copyright in the electronic age.
The Jamaica Library Service will mount a special exhibition to mark the occasion.
Members of the public are invited to attend the panel discussion as well as the finals of a quiz competition for junior high and high school students, to be held on Friday, April 23 at the library, beginning 2:00 p.m.
Education, Youth and Culture Minister, Maxine Henry-Wilson is expected to address the students at the competition.
The Canadian High Commission will donate a collection of books to the school of the winner of the competition.
Speaking against the background of World Book and Copyright Day, Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura said recently that “books are a window on the diversity of cultures and a bridge between civilizations. Books are carriers of values, knowledge, the aesthetic sense and the world of the imagination”.
“In today’s knowledge markets, books are also instruments for learning, sharing and updating the knowledge essential to the exercise of all occupations, irrespective of their intellectual or technical nature. In this sense, they play a central role in building knowledge societies, often relayed by the new information and communication technologies. Books are therefore at the very heart of the economy of every country and every community,” he added.
Calling on policy makers, economic operators and civil society to protect and promote books and their copyright, Mr. Matsuura said “they should promote public awareness of the unique role of the book and of the need to uphold respect for copyright”.

JIS Social