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39th ILAB Congress

Umberto Pregliasco
Published on 19 Oct. 2015

39th ILAB Congress, September 20-26, 2010

By Umberto Pregliasco

In six months time, the Congress I’ve been working a lot for will take place in Bologna. Despite the unhappy economic scenario, we have already received over 100 delegates entries to the Congress and nearly 100 booksellers have suscribed to the Fair. This is an unexpected success, and its numbers are rising. I want to thank Névine Marchiset, our Committee, Loris Rabiti and those of you who trusted the Italian organisation of this event, so important for the future of ILAB.


Because of the large number of exhibitors, we obtained that the International Book Fair be hosted in the magnificent frescoed main hall of the Palazzo Re Enzo. It’s going to be the largest event of this kind ever organized in Italy. All the institutional libraries of Bologna were eager to cooperate, and we’re organizing antique books exhibitions in such prestigious locations as the Archiginnasio, the University Library, the Collegio di Spagna, in addition to those scheduled in nearby cities: the Malatestiana Library in Cesena, the Estense in Modena, the Classense in Ravenna. Several speakers have confirmed their presence, specialists but also great names as Umberto Eco and Giampiero Mughini, who will hold their lectiones magistrales in the splendid Aula Magna of Santa Lucia, which can accommodate 1000 spectators. 

As regards to Eco, please find above an article I wrote about the  Dangerous Liaisons between such a collector and his own "pusher" of ancient books. We are also glad to inform those who have confirmed their presence to the Fair, that, thanks to the many subscriptions and various sponsorships,  ALAI decided to provide each booth with a big window showcase (2 x 1 m), instead of one of the two tables. We believe that greater elegance and luxury will grant success to the exhibition. The catalog will be published with great care and will be sent in August. To this end, the dead-line for sending texts and images is set on May 30th.

The prestigious Cineteca di Bologna, founded half a century ago, has enthusiastically embraced the idea of a Film Festival dedicated to Bibliophily, showing films related to books during the Congress week. All the famous movies will star a librarian among the main characters. The Cineteca will also realize a medley of the most important scenes related to bibliophily, which will be screened at Palazzo Re Enzo. In this regard, we require your advice.  Please send your answers to the ALAI.

- Recommend some movies
- Vote the best movie about books
- Vote the best actor in the movie
- Vote the most beautiful scene with antique books
- Vote the best film adaptation of a masterpiece of literature

The “The Cursed Library” (Monday 20th, evening during and after the dinner) is an interactive play: an event full of fascinating atmosphere, a detective game, a clue puzzle challenge. The participants will become protagonists in a spectacular thrill-packed adventure related to the heritage of a private library: an original detective story to live, act as a fictional character among professional actors, movie industry make-up, special effects, stunts and costumed actors. All of you will live in first person the emotions of a real investigative thriller. The theme is of course bibliophily, challenging participants to solve enigmas and quiz about books in order to get useful clues to the solution of the mystery. Every guest will take part and enjoy anyway the show, but who wants to actively play as a detective, a librarian or a bookseller, is kindly requested to confirm his participation by e-mail.

About the football match Italy  vs. Rest of the world (Thursday 23th, afternoon): who wants to play should let us know the number and the name to be printed on your shirt and what position you'd like to have on the team. The  match will be overseen by a referee and it will be filmed. All you need to do is to bring your football shoes for a synthetic pitch. We hope you will accept the challenge, because through sport we can also become friends. Please write to Paolo Tonini.

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