Ismail Serageldin


Fifth Summit of the Book: “Words are all we have”


Taking inspiration from eminent Irish writer Samuel Beckett, the theme for this year’s International Summit of the Book  was “Words are all we have, the Book: history, knowledge and technology, the Voyage”.  International figures, intellectuals, and library professionals from around the world participated in the event. This 5th annual conference was  held in Limerick, Ireland , November 2nd-3rd 2016, in continuation of the tradition that was launched in Washington DC in 2012 and that since has been carried forward in Singapore, Paris, and Alexandria. Serageldin’s keynote speech in the opening session of this year’s summit was  very well received.


Among the key issues discussed in the Summit  were: Preservation through digitization, Etymology & history of the book, eBooks versus print books, Information explosion and the book, Future of the book.


The International Summit of The Book is an initiative by the Library of Congress to celebrate the enduring influence of the culture of the book and the importance of libraries and books in preserving national cultural identities and the human civilisation. The Summit travels to a different cultural capital each year, somewhat in the manner of the Olympics.


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