(IBBY) was begun in 1953 based on the vision of its founder, Jella Lepman. IBBY's mission is to promote international understanding through children's books; to give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards; to encourage the publication and distribution of quality children's books, especially in developing countries; to provide support and training for those involved with children and children's literature and to stimulate research and scholarly works in the field of children's literature.
The organization is composed of more than 70 national sections operating on both national and international levels. IBBY's policies and programs are determined by its Executive Committee: ten people from different countries, and a President elected by the national sections during the biennial General Assembly held at each IBBY Congress. Each national section pays annual dues to join IBBY based on a sliding scale for nation groups depending on their economic ability. In addition, the "Hands Across the Sea" program raises funds from all nations to help pay the dues of struggling sections.
IBBY's activities include: