Tuesday, January 4, 2022

KIBF concludes, NLA shines

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

After creating buzz and excitement in the metropolis for the past five days on a trot, the 16th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) came to an end at the Karachi Expo Centre late on the evening of January 3. 

It was quite extraordinary to watch the large turnout every day and evening despite the extremely cold weather from the Karachi standards. 

Some quarters were skeptical about the success of the event because of the phenomenal rise in the positivity rate of the latest wave of COVID-19 but the bookworms appeared least bothered by the fears of pandemic and they went about their business of visiting the fair with tremendous enthusiasm. 

Since the KIBF was being held after a gap of two years, following the cancellation of the event last year due to COVID-19 related issues, there also were some concerns about people having distanced themselves from physical books but, by turning up in huge numbers, all such apprehensions remained just fiction, not facts. 

Long queues of people of all age groups, wearing face masks, as it was compulsory to get in, and the packed parking lots and the packed service roads around the Expo Centre dispelled the impression of the people having lost their love for books. 

As witnessed in the past, it was a very well attended exhibition with maintenance of all possible protocols. The people of Karachi proved the point once more that they remain passionate about education and reading.

While every stakeholder, stallholder and participant had a reason or two to celebrate the successful KIBF, the one body which stood out was the National Library Association (NLA) which not only set up their stall but managed it exceptionally well for five days to catch the imagination of library professionals and many others.

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