Michiel Kolman

Self censorship, diversity & inclusion, and ‘American Dirt’: on stage with Jeanine Cummins at Lisbon’s Book 2.0

Actors have an amazing profession: on stage or in a movie they become a character, someone else than their own personality. The sky seems the limit on the roles you can play as an actor: rich or poor, introvert or extrovert, young or old, anything goes. But there are limits: White actors cannot play Black roles, male actors cannot become women on stage. But what about dimensions of diversity which are not so obvious? Can gay actors play straight roles, or the other way around? Not long ago the generally accepted answer would have been: absolutely. But today there is a diversity of opinion here.
Michiel Kolman, Chair of the IPA's Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee spoke to Dan Conway, CEO of the Publishers Association (UK) about their Inclusivity Action Plan and their past work on diversity and inclusion. 
In September, one of the most significant book events in Brazil took place, the Rio de Janeiro Book Fair (Bienal do Livro do Rio de Janeiro), with record-breaking numbers of attendees and sales, and for the first time, featuring an international Summit for the publishing industry.
The 8 September marks UNESCO’s World Literacy Day. The theme chosen by UNESCO for this year is Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies. Literacy is the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.
Earlier this month, the Pride season arrived in my hometown Amsterdam where Elsevier is also headquartered. Two weeks of events to celebrate Pride but also a moment of protest as the LGBTIQ+ community is increasingly under attack globally. We started with a Pride Walk where many Elsevier colleagues joined. Earlier this month we participated in the London Pride Parade and our CEO Kumsal Bayazit also took part. Visibility is important, today more so than ever before. 
Books are playing a major role in spreading ideas, enriching the culture and turning our democracies into flourishing debated places. No matter whether they are used to escape from our reality or to dive into it, access to books remains a fundamental human right. This right is reinforced by the application of the European Accessibility Act that urges the ebooks ecosystem to comply with accessibility obligations for products and services. This directive creates an inclusive society by ensuring access to ebooks for all European citizens, regardless of their disabilities.
The European Digital Reading Lab (EDRLab) is a digital innovation laboratory by and for the publishing industry. We are an international, non-profit development laboratory, working on the deployment of an open, interoperable and accessible digital publishing ecosystem, worldwide. We develop technology to accelerate the adoption of digital reading in different forms: text, audio and image.
I write this post while returning home from a board meeting of the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) and the celebration of the Marrakesh Treaty’s 10th anniversary at the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, in Geneva.
No one gets to net zero by themselves. We all recognize the need to work together across the entire book value chain to make our processes more efficient, to reduce waste and recycle and reuse. Yet, one curious area of the book business are book returns. Returning unsold books for credit or refund is considered an essential part of the bookselling business. In the process, we ship books between retailers and warehouses, try and resell return copies and ultimately end up pulping unwanted titles. The latest report from RISE Bookselling, a project led by the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), investigates seven case studies of how book returns work in European and international countries. We reached out to Daniel Martin Brennan and Tora Åsling, Policy Advisor and Policy Officer at the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) for more details. 
Arthur Thompson and Martin Klopstock of Kogan Page share their thoughts on the evolution of accessibility following the publication of EPUB3.3.
On June 21st, the Mexican Association for Intellectual Property Protection (Asociación Mexicana para la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual) celebrated the discussion forum “Marrakesh Treaty in Mexico. Its Application and Publishing Tools for Accessible Books” (Tratado de Marrakech en México. La aplicación del tratado y herramientas editoriales para ediciones accesibles). The event was hosted by the National Chamber for the Mexican Publishing Industry (Cámara Nacional de la Indistria Editorial Mexicana, CANIEM). It gathered a wide variety of professionals and institutions that talked from different points of view about the current state of the treaty´s provisions in Mexico. 

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