Tuesday, July 18, 2006

a bit more about what White Ravens is......

The White Ravens 2006

The »White Ravens« have become a solid tradition over the years. Throughout each year, the language specialists (Lektoren) at the International Youth Library (IYL) select recently published books that they consider especially noteworthy. This »premium label« is given to books of international interest that deserve a wider reception on account of their universal theme and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design. This year's collection contains 250 titles in 32 languages from 47 countries.

The titles are drawn from the books we received in 2005. The selection makes no claim to being exhaustive. Because the collections of the International Youth Library consist exclusively of books we receive from publishers, institutions, organisations, and other friends of the IYL around the world, only review and donation copies qualify for the selection of the »White Ravens«. To offer a broad range of publications, we attempt to present titles from as many different publishing houses as possible. Unfortunately, not all publishing houses that consistently and generously supply the IYL with their books can be featured here every year. We cordially thank each and every one of them for their shipments of books!

In 1996, the White Ravens catalogue made its first appearance on the Internet. Today, with the presentation of the 11th volume on the IYL homepage, you can find a pool of 2,750 »White Ravens« books at www.ijb.de including the complete bibliographical data and the descriptive annotations. In this selection, some books are given additional labels. First of all, there are »Special Mentions« to which the library's Lektoren wish to draw particular attention. The symbol <> marks those books whose content is found to contribute to an international understanding among cultures and people. In this way we remind ourselves and our readers of the working maxim under which Jella Lepman founded the International Youth Library and which, in these times, is still of utmost concern. The symbol ¤ is assigned to books whose text is judged to be easily understandable, i.e. easy-to-read texts, and yet dealing with topics of interest to older readers. Hence these books are well-suited to foreign-langua-ge readers and for inclusion in foreign language collections of public and school libraries.

We can assure our donors that their books will be catalogued, indexed by subject and included in our depository collection. In this way, they are permanently available for use by the international clientele of specialists who visit our study library, make use of our reference services from afar, or consult our catalogues on the Internet. Over the years, many books also find their way into thematic travelling exhibi-tions, topical bibliographies and lists, activity programs for children, etc.

Last but not least, we renew our request to all publishers: Please continue to send us your new titles! We, for our part, will endeavour to fulfil the expectation that the International Youth Library in Munich is the home of the most comprehensive collection of international literature for children and young people in the world.

Dr. Barbara Scharioth
March 2006


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