April 21, 2009
Boris Johnson at the London Book Fair
I have been saying for ages that the London Book Fair should host the main library exhibitions and conferences. Here are the notes used by Boris Johnson in a speech he made at the Book Fair today (thanks to Richard Charkin)
Speaking notes• I’m delighted to be here for the 38th London Book Fair - the world’s most prestigious showcase for the publishing industry in the world’s leading creative centre
• The publishing sector in this country has an extraordinary story to tell.
• It was in the UK that the first steam-powered presses were created in the 19th century – transforming the publishing industry and bringing printed material to world markets.
• And it was here, in 1709, that the Statute of Anne was passed, forming the basis for copyright law across the globe.
• Today, publishing is the country’s largest creative industry, employing more people and adding more to our economy than any other
• We produce well over 100,000 new titles each year and we export more books than any other country.
• And London is this countries creative hub. Home to a quarter of all publishers in the UK and contributing a third of total turnover.
• What has been driving this success?
• First, London and the UK leads the way in producing the books which people love to read.
• JK Rowling’s Harry Potter is one of the world’s greatest children’s publishing success story of recent times.
• Second, the spread of the English language gives the UK publishing industry a powerful competitive advantage.
• New opportunities for UK publishers in non-English speaking countries are being created as English increasingly becomes the preferred second language across the globe
• Third, UK publishers have worked hard to establish networks of partners in overseas markets.
• Finally, the UK publishing industry leads the way in technical and commercial innovation.
• As one example, UK book publishers have been pioneers in the introduction of environmentally friendly strategies for their businesses, for instance in the use of sustainable paper resources and the reduction of chemically damaging production processes.
• So the industry is built on excellent foundations but publishing is not immune to the economic downturn and a number of publishing companies have recently announced redundancies.
• But the sector continues to grow and we want to work with you to make sure that publishing and other creative industries come out of the recession stronger than before.
• That’s why it’s critical you are all here at the Book Fair, building networks and doing business.
• But as people feel the pinch it’s the perfect time to shout about the services provided by our public libraries across the capital
• There are 363 libraries across London and they are teaming with new books – over 12 million pounds worth was spent in 2007 alone.
• If we want to encourage reading at a young age libraries offer an excellent, cost free, route into literature.
• That’s why we are working with our partners in the library sector to think about how they better communicate services
• In June, we are running a month long festival, the Story of London, to celebrate the history of London.
• Literature will be a strong focus and Libraries across London will feature London related books and material.
• 5 new poems will also appear on the underground and a ‘Story of London poems’ on the underground booklet will be distributed.
• We will also be telling the Story of the capital through its famous authors and working with major book stores to publicise the event
Posted by Perkins at April 21, 2009 6:37 PM