By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Camilla opened a book help library in Gambia
TThe British charity Book Aid International is well known among readers of Publishing Perspectives for its delivery of around 1 million or more books to underserved and struggling communities, often in remote parts of the world.
The charity is not only dependent on monetary donations, but also on contributions from publishers of the new books – unused books or old editions – which are sent to their recipients.
Today (May 13), the organization has announced that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has become the charity’s new royal patron.
Although some of our international subscribers may not have been aware of this, the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was Book Aids’ former patron from 1966 until his death on 9 April at the age of 99.
Camilla’s interest in literature and literacy has been evident in her occasional appearances with the Booker Foundation’s award programs.
We are now told by Book Aid chief Alison Tweed’s staff that Camilla first saw Book Aid International’s work in the field on a visit to Gambia in 2018.
On that trip, she opened a new library at St. Joseph’s School in Banjul, where the school is one of the facilities supported by Book Aid.
Prochaska: ‘Access to books where it is most needed’
Today’s announcement of Camilla’s protection is quoted by Alice Prochaska, President of Book Aid International, as saying: “Book Aid International has always worked with its partners to create access to books where it is most needed – and with these books comes the chance that learning and reading skills can flourish.
“We has updated our strategy to commit even more strongly to this basic mission and is committed to sharing the power of books with the people most in need around the world – especially women and girls and people fleeing conflict.
“Her Royal Highness is a strong advocate of the importance of books to all. It is especially meaningful and a great honor that she has become our patron as we start this new chapter in our history. ”
During his decades-long patronage of Book Aid, Philip visited Book Aid’s warehouse and engaged in other events produced by and for the charity.
In his remarks on this today, Book Aids’ Vice President Lord Paul Baoteng said: “I saw on my own the impact of His Royal Highness Prince Philips’ patronage on Book Aid International and its work, and I am glad that our proud history of Royal Patronage will now continue.
“We are grateful and honored by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall’s support and immensely grateful for her own work in promoting the love of books and writing in the Commonwealth and beyond.”
Book Aid has a big year, after recently being in the news for its role in opening the rebuilt university at the Mosul Library in Iraq in February, a restoration project of the UN Development Fund with support from Germany’s KFW Development Bank.
More from Publishing Perspectives on publication on Iraq is here, more about libraries is here, more about Book Aid International is here, more about the work of the UN is here.
More from us about the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.