28 April 2010


In commemoration of World Book and Copyright Day, NALIS hosted its first Annual First Time Author’s Appreciation Programme at the Amphitheatre, National Library, on April 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm.

This programme celebrated and recognised persons who have published, for the first time, during the period April 2009 and April 2010. The First Time Author’s Appreciation Programme is NALIS’s attempt to applaud the hard work of first time authors, to encourage new writers to enter the publishing arena, and to raise public awareness of the issues involved in the protection of intellectual property as well as the enforcement of copyright.

Some 40 authors were honoured at this event. Among them are Wendy Fitzwilliam, Anu Lakhan, and Sheriza Hassan-Ali.

These first time authors responded to NALIS’ call to submit their publications, photographs and biographies. The area of publication has also been diverse; these include poetry, imaginative fiction, non-fiction, biographies and children’s books. An exhibition on the authors and their published works will be mounted for viewing.

In delivering the feature address, the Honourable Neil Parsanlal, Minister of Information said, “I wish to congratulate NALIS, and its dedicated staff for another timely and valuable initiative which seeks to encourage reading among our citizens and foster the creation of a knowledge based society.”

Professor Kenneth Ramchand provided an overview of all the publications. Van Stewart, President of the Writers’ Union of Trinidad and Tobago, Anson Gonzalez, Poet Laureate of Port of Spain delivered remarks at the evening’s programme and journalist, Sterling Henderson read excerpts from selected authors’ works.

World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated each year on the 23 April. This celebration, promoted by UNESCO, aims to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.

Further, by paying world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, UNESCO hopes to encourage everyone, particularly young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and to gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.

The celebration of World Book and Copyright Day connects directly to the goal of the Heritage Library Division of NALIS, which is to preserve and promote the culture of Trinidad and Tobago, and as such, is the ideal Library to spearhead this programme.

The UNESCO website says that “23 April is a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors.

The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold. The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support received from all parties concerned (authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media), who have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors.”

For more information please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department of NALIS at 624-4466 Ext 2324/2327.