Dutch Section of IBBY

Leiden University

FSW - afd AGP

c/o Mr Toin Duijx

Wassenaarseweg 52

NL - 2333 AK Leiden

Tel [int. +31 6] 284 684 09

E-mail: ibby-nederlandplanet.LÖ



Ms Helma van Lierop-Debrauwer

(address of the section) 


Secretary and Bookbird Correspondent

Mr. Toin Duijx

(address of the section) 

The Dutch IBBY Section was established in 1953 and is not affiliated to any another organization or institution. The Section is run by volunteers and does not have an office or any paid-staff. In 1996 we organized the 25th IBBY Congress in Groningen, with the theme Telling the Tale.

Because the world of children’s books is well organized in the Netherlands, the Dutch IBBY Section focuses on supporting IBBY Sections in less fortunate countries. Several times in the past the Dutch IBBY Section has sponsored the international dues of other sections: Latvia, Lithuania, Uruguay and the former Section of Bulgaria.

The Dutch IBBY Section supported IBBY Latvia when it set up the Children’s Literature Centre in the National Library in Riga. There is also a bond-of-friendship with the Uruguayan IBBY section and this has also, just as with Latvia, resulted in several common projects. Another special bond-of-friendship is with IBBY Indonesia.

The Frisian language, which is spoken in northern Netherlands, has a literary tradition of its own. The IBBY Section works in close co-operation with working group It Fryske Berneboek (The Frisian Children’s Book). This working group gives advice for projects wherever Frisian books are involved.

Dutch IBBY organizes the annual Day for the Friends of IBBY. Every two years the IBBY diplomas for the Dutch Andersen Award candidates and IBBY Honour List nominations are presented, and in the other year the Awards for the Dutch artists nominated for the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava are presented at this special event. The section is also co-organizer of the yearly Annie M.G. Schmidt lectures.

The Section has its own award: the Jenny Smelik/IBBY prize (2.000 Euro), named after the children's book author Jenny Smelik who died in 1980. It is given every two years to the author and/or illustrator and/or instigator of a children's book that has contributed to a better understanding of minorities, especially ethnic minorities. In 2016 the prize-winning book was De duik by Sjoerd Kuyper (text) and Sanne te Loo (illustrations) and published by Lemniscaat. A special mention (500 euro) was given to Liesbet Ruben for her book Mijn opa de trekvogel, published by Tropenmuseum Junior / Querido.

Miep Diekmann was awarded with Honorary Membership of IBBY in April 2006 – a great honour! Diekmann has devoted her life to books for young people and her role in guiding young authors and illustrators in the Netherlands, as well as elsewhere, cannot be underestimated. The special attention that children’s books enjoy in the Netherlands and the success of Dutch IBBY is largely due to her efforts. In 2014 another honour was bestowed on Dutch IBBY when Jant van der Weg-Laverman received Honorary Membership of IBBY. She was a member of the IBBY Executive Committee from 2001 to 2006 and the President of the 2006 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Jury. Jant is also a past president of the Dutch IBBY section.

In 2011 a Master Degree programme about children’s literature was established at Tilburg University. IBBY participates in this programme by supporting the yearly symposium for the students, excursions and guest speakers.

The IBBY-section acts as the secretariat for a working group for researchers of children’s literature. An annual workshop is organized where researchers can present their research projects. Every two years the Miep Diekmann Thesis Award is presented at this workshop. It is an award for the best Master thesis about children’s literature.

The Dutch IBBY section also supports several projects of the International Youth Library in Munich, where the secretary of the IBBY-section works as volunteer for the Dutch-language section.  Every two years the Dutch IBBY-section also selects and prepares the submissions for the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava.

Twice a year an IBBY Newsletter (in Dutch) is published and is distributed to all the Friends-of-IBBY, the board members of the Flemish branch of Belgian IBBY, as well as to several (inter)national organizations.

Literatuur zonder leeftijd (Literature without age) is the only magazine in The Netherlands that addresses the study of children’s literature. Dutch IBBY publishes three issues of the magazine every year. The magazine includes articles on children’s literature, as well as reports and speeches that reflect the national and international activities surrounding literature for children and young adults, criticism and scientific research, reviews of specialist books and bibliographic notes.


Toin Duijx
November 2016