We thought we should look back and remember why ILAB was set up in the first place and read this article by Menno Herzberger, published in 1977, which might be 40 years old but not dated. It still explains very well why one should attend an ILAB congress:
"Business has certainly improved through this interconnection, but more importantly friendship between many members of different countries has been made, thus tearing down the walls between nations and consequently furthering human understanding."
Menno Herzberger was one of the founding fathers of ILAB, a legendary Dutch bookseller and auctioneer who died in 1982, aged 84. Menno survived WWII but lost his entire family in the Holocaust and had to rebuild his business all over again. It was during that time that he started lobbying for an international trade organisation.
Menno was distinguished by the French government by awarding him the distinctive badge of Chevalier de I'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. On the occasion of his 65th birthday the Dutch Queen made him a Chevalier in the Order of Orange-Nassau. On the same occasion Menno himself founded the Menno Hertzbergerprijs voor Bibliographie, a triennial Prize sponsored by him and by the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers.
Menno Herzberger and his colleagues had the vision to unite a trade across borders. Seventy years on, even though our trade has gone through radical changes, the values and purpose of ILAB remain unchanged.