Sunday, July 31, 2011

IFLA 2011 set to commence in San Juan on August 17

Jumbo Editorial Team

The librarians, archivists and other information professionals, delegates from different countries, will be assembling for the World Library and Information Congress 2011, 77th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, to be held at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on August 17 and 18.

The pre-registration at the standard rate has closed on July 25 but those having missed out can still get themselves registered. All IFLA members, regardless of category, will be entitled to register at the member rates published.

The theme of the Congress is ‘Libraries beyond libraries: Integration, Innovation and Information for all’ while during the General Assembly, IFLA members will have the opportunity to vote on several strategic issues. All IFLA members that have paid their membership fees for 2011 have the right to vote.

Puerto Rico offers miles upon miles of white sand beaches, an unbelievable rainforest and mountains. As one of the oldest and most diversified cultures in the world, Puerto Rico is a vibrant, modern, bilingual, multicultural society, one that has been molded by Spanish, African, Indian and U.S. influences.

With 21st century conveniences in an alluring 16th historical setting, both ultramodern and bewitchingly exotic, Puerto Rico is truly the Island of Enchantment. San Juan is the capital and most populous municipality in Puerto Rico. As of the 2000 census, it has a population of 433,733, making it the 42nd largest city under the jurisdiction of the United States.

San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it Ciudad de Puerto Rico (“Rich Port City”). Puerto Rico’s capital is the second oldest European established city in the Americas, after Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.

Originally, the city of San Juan was called Puerto Rico and the entire island was called San Juan. The capital and the island’s names were later accidentally switched.

The Puerto Rico Convention Centre (PRCC) is the largest congress centre in the Caribbean and the most technologically advanced throughout both the Caribbean and Latin America. With 580,000 square feet of total space, the centre can accommodate groups of up to 10,000, in an ideal setting at the gateway to all the Island has to offer.

Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair 2011 in October

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The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Canada (ABAC) has announced to hold the 2011 Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair (TIABF) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from October 29 to 31.

As the only international antiquarian and collectible book fair in Canada, the TIABF will feature exhibitors from across Europe and North America. They will bring a wide ranging selection of books, maps, prints and manuscripts for perusal, including travel and exploration; natural history, science and technology; children’s and illustrated; fine press and limited editions; modern first editions and signed volumes; antiquarian and incunabula; as well as interesting and unusual books of all kinds.

There will be plenty to attract experienced or novice book collector, a librarian or an archivist, a scholar or an academic, or those simply interested in books and the book arts in general, who are more likely find something of their taste.

The organizers have extended the invitation to visit the fair, explore the booths, and purchase the treasures on display. The pleasant weather in Toronto during the last three days of October should be an added incentive to the visitors converging there from overseas.

After a 15-year hiatus, the 2010 Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair (TIABF) was a great success last year and featured most of Canada's finest as well as many top international antiquarian booksellers and attracted almost 1500 visitors.

In 2011, this outstanding show will again bring booksellers and bibliophiles together for a three-day event. It should become be yet another memorable event for the bookworms.

Sponsored by the ABAC, the 2011 Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair joins the prestigious San Francisco, New York and Boston fairs on the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers’ (ILAB) 2011 North American calendar.

E-Books overtake Print Books at Amazon

Jumbo Editorial Team

A recent report published in New York Times has brought to light the fact that E-books have started outselling Print Books describing the unfolding tale of the book evolution from ink to pixels quoting whose customers now buy more e-books than print books.

Since April 1, Amazon sold 105 books for its Kindle e-reader for every 100 hardcover and paperback books, including books without Kindle versions and excluding free e-books.

This has not come as a startling disclosure to industry observers because the company had said last July that sales of e-books outnumbered hardcover books and it said in January that the same was true for paperbacks.

“We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, in a statement. “We’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.”

But people should not exile their bookshelves to storage quite yet, many analysts warned. Over all, e-books account for only about 14 percent of all general consumer fiction and nonfiction books sold, according to Forrester Research.

“E-book reading is a big deal and it’s going to continue to be even bigger,” said James L. McQuivey, a digital media analyst at Forrester. “But we are not to the point where e-books are a majority of unit sales and certainly not a majority of revenue.”

Amazon has credited the surge in e-book sales in part to its newest, lowest-priced Kindle with ads, which was introduced in April for $114 and is now Amazon’s best-selling Kindle.

E-books have become vastly more accessible to consumers in the last year. Across the industry, publishers have been rapidly digitizing their catalogue of books, making older titles available in e-book form for the first time.

Even smaller independent houses that had resisted selling e-books have changed their position and discovered a new way to sell their older books-traditionally a large part of many publishers’ revenues.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Iftikhar Arif, Waqas Khwaja join hands to bring out Modern Poetry of Pakistan

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Modern Poetry of Pakistan, the first anthology of its kind to appear in English, brings together many poetic traditions indigenous to Pakistan, with more than 140 poems translated from seven major languages, six of them regional (Baluchi, Kashmiri, Panjabi, Pashto, Seraiki, and Sindhi) and one national (Urdu).

A collection of work of 44 poets and 15 translators, this book reveals a society driven by differences but also a beautiful and truly national literature, with work, both classical and modern, belonging to the same culture and sharing many of the same concerns and perceptions.

Edited by the eminent duo of Iftikhar Arif and Waqas Khwaja,, Modern Poetry of Pakistan is considered a revelation. Those looking for an introduction to the richness of the region’s poetry won’t be disappointed.

“We are a multilingual country, one in which a host of cultures intermingled with folk traditions that have persisted for millennia, informs the national psyche and colours creative expression in all its various forms,” Iftikhar Arif noted in his preface.

In his introduction, Waqas Khwaja discussed at length different challenges, strategies and options that a translator must address. He described his own approach to the texts, which had been selected already by Iftikhar Arif, and his determination to ensure that he remained true to the original.

Waqas Khwaja is a Professor of English at Agnes Scott College where he teaches courses in Victorian and Romantic poetry, Narratives of Empire, Gothic literature, Postcolonial Studies, and Creative Writing.

He has published scholarly articles on writers from a variety of linguistic and cultural traditions and on literary, cultural, and political issues.

Iftikhar Arif is a poet of Urdu and three of his collections, Mehr-i-Doneem, Harf-i-Baryab and Jahan-e-Maloom have been published in many editions. His poetry has been translated into a number of languages, including English, Russian, German, Persian, Hindi and Bhasha.

E-books focused heavily in 19th Tokyo International Book Fair 2011

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The Tokyo International Book Fair happens to be Asia’s leading publishing trade fair, gathering 984 exhibitors and 87,449 visitors from various publishing industry professionals. As the center of publishing trade, it’s considered to be a core venue to negotiate publication rights, book imports/exports, and other related business with key publishing professionals in Japan and Asia.

The fair is an exciting opportunity for tapping the colossal Japanese market, and is the best venue to find the latest releases in all genres - fiction & non-fiction, business & economics, education, how-to’s, manga & comics, all types of magazines, and many other specialty books, as well as the latest digital innovations in the publishing industry.

The 19th Tokyo International Book Fair 2011 was held from July 7 to 10 together with the International Electronic Publishing Expo (EPX), previously less prominent and called the Digital Publishing Fair. It has now become an integral part of the show and occupies the same exhibition space with the physical books.

The event has become popular because if offered consumers the opportunity to buy books at a discount, typically 20% off the catalog price – this is more important in Japan because of its fixed book prices in bookstores. The decreasing booth space of the publishers in recent years therefore highlights the contracted consumer spending on the books, still mostly in the print format.

How about e-books? Do the publishers expect e-books to save the industry from declining sales it has seen over the past 15 years? Not really.

The majority of publishers still believe e-books represent a clear and present danger to printed books, bookstores and potentially to the entire publishing ecosystem.

The large turnout in the EPX came more and more from non-publishers, including online distributors, digital services, and IT companies. The services companies were focused on the Japanese typesetting, capabilities of the new EPUB 3 and domestic formats (XMDF and dot Book).

Cape Town Book Fair to resume in 2012

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The Cape Town Book Fair, which was scheduled to be staged in the middle of 2011, will now be held in a new and remodeled format in June 2012, along with the IPA Publishers Congress.

The organizers have announced that the postponed event will now be held in Cape Town from June 12 to 14, 2012. The reason for this new move was that publishers in South Africa had voiced their support for a biennale Fair, starting next year.

The organizers have thanked all exhibitors and interested parties for their support expressing the hope that they would be able to accommodate their needs and wishes again in 2012. A planning committee will start working and planning a revamped Cape Town Book Fair for 2012 very soon and will be announcing new details for the fair as soon as they become available.

Each year the Cape Town Book Fair had expanded and with the visitor capacity having reached right around 45,000. The fair has been commended for its ability to encompass the majority of great authors and publishers making splashes in the book scene when the event takes place.

The Cape Town Book Fair combines an intelligent atmosphere with over two hundred different events. Everyone is subject to enjoy an event perfect for them at the fair, which holds a wide array of public seminars, author events, and author readings. In addition there are high-profile writers and social commentators present.

The Cape Town Book Fair is held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, located on Cape Town's northern foreshore.

If you are traveling to the Cape Town Book Fair as a family don't worry, there are Children's Zone Programmes set up for the kids so that they are content all day while the adults may roam around however they please.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tony Namate’s work immortalized in The Emperor's New Clods: Political Cartoons from Zimbabwe

Jumbo Editorial Team

Tony Namate’s work has been immortalized in the book titled The Emperor's New Clods: Political Cartoons from Zimbabwe which was launched with great fanfare in Harare on July 28.

‘The Emperor’s New Clods: Political Cartoons from Zimbabwe’ is a collection of the award-winning Namate’s cartoons published in Zimbabwean newspapers between 1998 and 2005. The launching ceremony of the 114-page paperback, published by The Lions Press, was held during the Zimbabwe International Book Fair.

The cartoons cover his work for various newspapers including the Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and The Daily News. In a career spanning 20 years, Namate has done sketches for various other publications including The Herald, The Daily Gazette, the Guardian (UK), the Baltimore Sun and City Press (SA).

Namate’s cartoon collection takes the reader through some landmark moments in a troubled period: the payment of gratuities to war veterans; collapse of the local currency spawning an unprecedented economic crisis; the land reforms; violent elections and Zimbabwe’s resulting international isolation.

Throughout the book, Namate has combined cartoon humour with captions that provide a historical link to enable the reader to travel back to the period. It's ironically a comical but a factual presentation of Zimbabwe's history as the author fearlessly applied the dictum; 'my pen is colour blind'.

The author believes, as reflected in this frank and candid piece of work, that politicians must be accountable in any democracy, or a country that aspires for that elusive standard.

Kevin Kallaugher of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists describes Namate’s book as a wholesome success. “The book punctures the pomposity of the powerful on behalf of the poor and the powerless,” he said.

Whether drawing a caricature of a politician or lampooning vice, few cartoonists in Zimbabwe have attained Namate’s ability to tell a story with a few words and a sketch so brilliantly demonstrated with this new book. He is a wonderfully gifted person and his courage and fearlessness, besides professionalism, merit recognition. His newly book published book should win him more friends.

Zimbabwe International Book Fair 2011 provides key to Africa's Development

Jumbo Editorial Team

This year's edition of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) in Harare was being held under the theme Books for Africa's Development highlighted the need to make books accessible to all, considering their critical role in development as equity of education as well as distribution of reading material was considered a pre-requisite as for this goal.

There was plenty of activity at the Harare Gardens from July 25 to 29 where the bookworms and the intellectuals gathered in large numbers to emphasize the point that the books indeed hold the key for Africa’s development.

The ZIBF is acclaimed as Africa’s premier book and publishing trade fair, showcasing a large and diverse collection of books, magazines, journals CD-ROMS as well as printing and publishing services.

The participants at the ZIBF’s Indaba stressed the need to focus more on the rural populace with special focus on creating rural libraries in marginalised areas.

In her presentation entitled ‘Flying on the wings of my soul: The case of village libraries in Zimbabwe’ Talent Nyathi gave an account of factors leading to the marginalisation of populations in rural communities as well as how these challenges can be overcome in order to develop a free and independent book culture in Zimbabwe.

"I choose to share my journey to the village libraries that are constructed by mud, painted by the colourful soils dug from the river banks and anthills. I explore pleasant surprises I discovered after rural people defined lack of books as one of the multiple poverties that they live with," a part of her presentation read.

She believed that there’s a serious misconception which has led to efforts on providing reading materials being concentrated in urban areas, home to more educated or enlightened populations than the rural populace who continue to wait in vain for the day a parcel of books will come their way.

She spoke of how the idea of creating libraries in farming, mining and remote rural communities was met with cynicism even though in the 1980s Obadiah Moyo had pioneered the mobile rural library (a donkey drawn cart) which produced remarkable results for communities in which this initiative was launched.

Her views, carrying enormous weight, were appreciated and the newspaper did publish her views prominently. She certainly has raised the right points at the right forum. The issues she has highlighted also relate to quite a few other under-developed nations.

Australian Prime Minister to launch memoirs of trailblazer Christine Nixon

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The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has confirmed that she will launch former Victorian police commissioner Christine Nixon's controversial biography on August 3, adding that she didn't necessarily agree with all her views.

In her book, Fair Cop, Ms Nixon is reported to have lashed out at the Black Saturday bushfires royal commission, which she described as a kangaroo court, and complained that she was targeted unfairly in her job because of being overweight.

Ms Nixon was publicly criticised for her actions on Black Saturday when she left the state's emergency command centre on the evening of the bushfire crisis to have dinner with friends.

Prime Minister Gillard, displaying sporting spirit, described Ms Nixon as a trailblazer for women in policing and made the point that the debate surrounding the book was perfectly appropriate.

"Christine Nixon joined the NSW (New South Wales) police force in the early 1970s, and when she did less than 180 women had joined that police force since they allowed women to join in 1915," the Premier said.

She declared that her decision to launch the biography did not mean she agreed with everything Ms Nixon wrote.

"I have never read an autobiography or biography where I have picked it up and said every decision the person at the centre of the book has made was the right decision," Prime Minister Gillard said.

"I have never had that experience reading any book, I'm not having that experience reading Christine Nixon's book. The purpose of people writing a book is they put their version (of events), and of course it will be debated and considered by others and that's appropriate," she added.

With so much media attention worldwide even before it’s launch, Christine Nixon's biography seems certain to catch the imagination of the Australians in particular and the global audience in general.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen conferred prestigious HEC Best University Teacher award

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Punjab University’s Department of Library & Information Science Chairperson, Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen, rewrote the history of librarianship in Pakistan by winning the prestigious HEC Best University Teacher award.

Although as many as 57 faculty members of 60 public and private universities received ‘Best University Teacher Award’ in recognition of their dedicated efforts to enhance the academic and research atmosphere in their respective institutions, she became the first-ever Library Information Science professor to earn the honour.

The awards were conferred by Higher Education Commission (HEC) in a ceremony organised in Islamabad on July 12.

118 nominations were received from 60 public and private sector universities/degree awarding institutions for the year 2010. After scrutiny and detailed evaluation, 57 teachers were selected for the award.

The award included a certificate of merit and a cash prize of Rs100,000. The performance of the teachers is evaluated on the basis of Academic Work Performance (65%), Research Work Performance (24%) and Creative Work (11%).

It’s another feather in the cap of Prof Dr Kanwal Ameen who had successfully completed her Post-Doc Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program at the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT), University of Missouri, USA, last year.

During her stay in USA she had been engaged in various academic, research and cultural activities. Her major research work was on exploring “website usability evaluation methods in libraries perspective” and she worked on a project in this regard which is considered a new concept in the field.

She was also invited by the North Carolina Central University to deliver lecture to a Master's class, which was very well received and appreciated. She was also invited as Guest Speaker to deliver lectures on different areas of librarianship in Pakistan at the SISLT. She had authored three papers during her stay and also attended two Fulbright conferences in Houston and Washington.

German compilation on old and famous shrines of Pakistan

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Dr Jürgen Frembgen, Chief Curator of the Oriental Department at the Museum of Ethnology in Munich and a Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Munich, having taught Islamic Studies and Anthropology in other universities of Europe as well, has authored a book titled "At the Shrine of the Red Sufis - Five Days and Nights on Pilgrimage in Pakistan" in which he has talked about his experiences at the old and famous shrines of the country.

The book was launched at the German Embassy in Islamabad in which the author read out some passages from his book and showed scenes of the documentary "The Red Sufi" by Martin Weinhart.

A galaxy of diplomats, intellectuals, educationists, students and foreigners had gathered at the premises of the Federal Republic of Germany to celebrate the launch of the book, published by Oxford University Press.

Dr Jürgen Frembgen, in recounting his experience shared his perceptions with his readers by reading out few of excerpts from his book and provided a highly readable and vivid account of one of the most culturally, spiritually and emotionally charged events.

The book is a welcome addition because no detailed record is believed to be available about old and famous shrines in Pakistan with information of different kinds of groups that participate to demonstrate their rites and rituals of devotion and the sacred geography of shrines and pilgrimages of Qalandars in Pakistan.

This book takes the reader on a journey to experience the spiritual rapture, ecstasy, trance, magic, and devotion at the annual Urs celebrations held at Sehwan Sharif in honor of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Pakistan's most Sufi popular saint.

Dr Jürgen Frembgen has been visiting professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, and National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore. He has also conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Pakistan having published works in both German and English languages on Islam, the Sufi tradition, anthropology and related subjects.

Two of his earlier books, The Friends of God: Sufi Saints in Islam: Popular Poster Art from Pakistan and Journey to God: Sufis and Dervishes in Islam were also published by Oxford University Press.

Pakistan’s Golden Thrones captures beauty, grandeur through Argentinian eyes

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Pakistan’s Golden Thrones authored by the Argentine photographer and mountaineer Tommy Heinrich was formally launched in a graceful ceremony at the Argentine Embassy in Islamabad recently.

The Argentine Ambassador to Pakistan, Rodolfo J Martin-Saravia, former Education Minister, Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali and Chairman, Capital Development Authority (CDA), Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, were prominent among those having attended the function.

The book portrays the beauty and grandeur of the Northern Areas of Pakistan, the warmth and ruggedness of their people through Argentine eyes. It is a joint effort by the Argentine Embassy, Laboratories Bagó of Argentina and Ferozsons Laboratories Ltd of Pakistan.

Tommy Heinrich, a professional photographer who works for National Geographic Magazine and has filmed several documentaries about mountain climbing, was first Argentine mountaineer to summit Mt Everest in 1994 and has come Pakistan repeatedly since 1997.

The speakers noted that Pakistan and Argentina, two distant countries have been friends for 60 years having come much closer in the last seven years thanks to the various cultural, commercial, scientific and sportive bridges built during the tenure of Ambassador Saravia, who had intensively promoted and organized cultural events with the purpose of sharing the argentine art with the people of Pakistan.

The book, according to the Ambassador, represented sincere friendship of Argentina, because when many wanted to see only what was negative and violent they had portrayed a face of Pakistan that not always made the frontline news: the peaceful, radiant, hospitable country that he had learned to love.

He mentioned that during his tenure in the country he had witnessed, after a lot of work, the birth of the joint venture BF Biosciences Ltd. In his concluding remarks, the ambassador informed that Argentina was celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations with Pakistan.

“The embassy has been organizing several events in order to mark this occasion and the launching of this book re-enforces our motives of celebration, he said. He stated that such cultural events constitute a bridge that brings their countries together. It is through trade and culture and people to people contacts that nations grow together and in peace,” the ambassador concluded.