The Ministry of Culture and the Taipei Book Fair Foundation have reached the conclusion of postponing the 28th Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) to May 7-12 over concerns for participation and quality of experience amid the global coronavirus outbreak.
TIBE is an annual international book fair that hosts nearly 600,000 attendees and up to 1,000 events at the indoor venue of the Taipei World Trade Center. The 2020 edition originally scheduled for Feb. 4-9 also expanded its showcase of children's books and educational materials this year, with the curatorial intent of cultivating the habit of reading from an early age.
Representatives of the publishing industry have voiced their worries over how the attendance of exhibitors and members of the general public would be adversely impacted if the book fair took place as originally scheduled. Moreover, several international publishers and invited authors have already canceled their visit to Taiwan.
The postponement was announced a day after a risk assessment meeting was held on Jan. 29 among delegates from the Ministry of Culture, Taipei Book Fair Foundation, participating exhibitors and vendors, and members of publishing associations.
By rescheduling the event to May 7-12, the organizers aim to provide a better book fair experience for all. A special task team will be launched to safeguard the rights and interests of exhibitors and ticketholders.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun remarked that the enjoyment of books should not be postponed along with the book fair. The Ministry will increase its promotional initiatives throughout February to boost the purchase and circulation of a wide variety of publications, she added.
In prioritizing public health and the Central Epidemic Command Center's directives, the Ministry's affiliated museums and cultural agencies have also launched preventive measures during the Lunar New Year break before re-opening to the public.
For more book fair updates, please visit the Taipei International Book Exhibition's website at http://www.tibe.org.tw/en/.
For more coronavirus updates in Taiwan, please visit the Central Epidemic Command Center's website at https://www.cdc.gov.tw/En.