President's Welcome to the 40th ILAB Congress and 24th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair in Switzerland 2012
Welcome to Switzerland!
First of all I would like to sincerely thank our Swiss colleagues and the Swiss Association, VEBUKU, for organizing and inviting us to this major bi-annual event of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). ILAB is very pleased to be invited again by the Association which has not only given ILAB its first President, William S. Kundig, but which hosted Congresses in 1952, in 1962, and a Congress and a Book Fair in 1978.
It may seem odd to organize a meeting every two years where booksellers from around the globe are invited to meet, talk, and discuss topics and problems of mutual interest, make new friends or renew old friendships. Our world is global and globalizing and we have a wide variety of means of communication at our disposal. Why bother to travel a long way to meet real people? We «meet» them on Facebook and we follow them on Twitter and we communicate through email. However, just as the virtual book is not a substitute for a real book, just as we want to see, feel, and touch a real physical book, we want to meet real people, see them, and talk to them, face-to-face, as we prefer to «meet» a book «face-to-face».
Modern technology is an additional tool for our profession but it neither replaces the real world nor the real books. And
that is precisely what the ILAB Congresses and Book Fairs have offered over the decades and what they still offer today: the possibility to meet colleagues, collectors, librarians, and real books, and the possibility for collectors, librarians and real books to meet us!
Amor Librorum Nos Unit!
President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)
(Picture: ILAB President Arnoud Gerits and the presidents of ILAB's 22 member associations in Weimar 2011)
Published since 06 Sep 2012