By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Camilla opened a Book Aid library in The Gambia
TUK-based charity Book Aid International is well known to Publishing Perspectives readers for its provision of around 1 million or more books to underserved and struggling communities, often in quite remote parts of the world.
The charity relies not only on monetary donations, but also on contributions from publishers of new books, not used books or old editions, that are sent to their recipients.
Today (13 May), the organization announced that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has become the charity’s new Royal Patron.
Although some of our international subscribers may not have known it, the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was Book Aid’s previous patron from 1966 until his death on April 9 at age 99.
Camilla’s interest in literature and literacy has been evident in her occasional appearances at Booker Foundation award shows.
Now Book Aid boss Alison Tweed’s staff tells us that Camilla first saw Book Aid International’s work in the field during a visit to The Gambia in 2018.
On that trip, he opened a new library at St. Joseph’s School in Banjul, the school being one of the facilities supported by Book Aid.
Prochaska: ‘Access to books where it is needed most’
For today’s announcement of Camilla’s sponsorship, Alice Prochaska, president of Book Aid International, is quoted as saying: “Book Aid International has always worked with its partners to create access to books where they are needed most, and with those books comes the opportunity for learning and literacy to flourish.
“WWe have updated our strategy to further commit to this core mission and are committed to sharing the power of books with those most in need around the world, especially women and girls, and people fleeing conflict.
“Her Royal Highness is a powerful advocate for the importance of books for all. It is especially significant and a great honor that she has become our patron as we begin this new chapter in our history.”
During his decades of patronage of Book Aid, Philip visited the Book Aid warehouse and participated in other events produced by and for the charity.
In his recollection of this today, Book Aid Vice President Lord Paul Baoteng said: “I saw first-hand the impact of His Royal Highness Prince Philip’s patronage of Book Aid International and his work, and I am glad that our proud history of royal patronage now continues.
“We are grateful and honored for the support of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, and greatly appreciate her own work in promoting a love of books and writing in the Commonwealth and beyond.”
Book Aid is having a big year, having recently been in the news for its role in rebuilding the library at the University of Mosul in Iraq in February, a United Nations Development Fund restoration project supported by the KFW Development Bank of Germany.
More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing in Iraq is here, more on libraries is here, more on Book Aid International is here, more on the work of the United Nations is here.
More from us on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.