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Accelerating Knowledge: IAEA Celebrates World Book and Copyright Day

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The IAEA's World Book and Copyright Day celebration featured the Knowledge Accelerator sculpture, made up of over 800 discarded books from the IAEA Library, Vienna, Austria, 23 April 2018. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Accelerating Knowledge was the theme for the IAEA’s second annual World Book and Copyright Day celebration, promoting and facilitating the spread of knowledge and information and encouraging access to books, authors, and publishers. The IAEA contributes to the transfer and preservation of information and knowledge by offering a wide range of nuclear science and technology resources to IAEA Member States and affiliated researchers from nuclear research institutes, governmental organizations and laboratories.

UNESCO proclaimed 23 April World Book and Copyright Day in 1995. At UNESCO’s twenty-eighth General Conference in Paris, it was stated that this celebration “will serve not only…to enlighten…but also to develop fuller collective awareness of cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire behaviour based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

“As Albert Einstein put it, the only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library,” said Mary Alice Hayward, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Management, opening the event at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna. “Every day, books and reading allow people around the world to connect with new ideas, and give them a chance to learn about concepts that they may have never imagined.”

Every day, books and reading allow people around the world to connect with new ideas, and give them a chance to learn about concepts that they may have never imagined.
Mary Alice Hayward, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Management

IAEA preserves the official records documenting its programme activities and its historical material in a variety of media/ (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Andrea Cancellare, Head of the IAEA Library, added: “Access to reliable information is essential. Sharing resources and providing nuclear information that support IAEA’s programmatic activities in Member States are at the core of the IAEA Library’s mandate.” 

The day-long event for staff members and visitors to the Vienna International Centre offered opportunities to explore the IAEA’s nuclear literature and electronic information services, as well as IAEA scientific and technical publications in a library setting. Multimedia exhibits showcased the processes behind information preservation. The digitization process of the IAEA’s historical photo collection looked at images, their context and copyright, and presented how photos are prepared for the conversion process. Hands-on workstations allowed visitors to explore more than 80 000 books and 53 000 e-journals offered by the IAEA Library, as well as to search the IAEA International Nuclear Information System (INIS) repository, which consists of 4.2 million bibliographic records relating to nuclear information.

A photo essay commemorating 60 years of the IAEA and a sculpture made up of over 800 discarded books were also displayed. “Each of these books served as an accelerator for new knowledge in its day,” said Bojan Cirkovic of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy, who created and built the sculpture. “This was my solution to keep that acceleration going.”

Vienna International Centre visitors learn more about the IAEA Library resources. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Libraries and information centres are very much aware of the importance of intellectual property rights in balancing the needs of the user while protecting the rights of the creator, stated Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. “Libraries must have clear rules to guide them in their quest to provide access to knowledge. Copyright provides a framework within which works can be created and shared; thus, innovation is cultivated. The IAEA Library, as well as the UN libraries, adhere to international copyright norms in their day to-day work.”

Hosted by the IAEA Library, the libraries of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as well as the IAEA Department of Management took part in this year’s World Book and Copyright Day celebration.

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