” Greeks can afford to buy cars and eat out, and good luck to them; but surely they can spare some money for books,» said President Costis Stephanopoulos on Tuesday at the official opening of the 31st Book Festival at Pedion tou Areos, referring to a recent survey which reported that Greeks watch more television and read fewer books than other Europeans. The president said this could not be blamed on a lack of books, when so many are being published. He urged parents to set aside money from the family budget for books and teachers to encourage children to read. Stephanopoulos expressed his support for the development of public libraries, the theme of this year’s festival. Libraries in the IT age Nine experts from Europe and Canada are speaking at a two-day international conference on «The role of public libraries in the information society,» at the Central Public Library of Veria, starting tomorrow. University researchers, librarians and public administrators will discuss contemporary theories, specific approaches and policy planning and application guidelines at European and national level. Aimed at people who work in libraries and the computer field, the conference will also appeal to anyone who is interested in books, culture and the changes brought about by a computerized society. Jointly organized by the Culture Ministry, the National Book Center (EKEBI) and the Central Public Library of Veria, the conference covers «The right to read: Libraries and state responsibility,» on September 19; and «Knowledge management: Libraries and the information society,» and «Public libraries and their communities,» on September 20. Simultaneous translation will be available. (For further information, visit the conference website: http:www.libver. gr/gr/conf2002/) Rea Galanaki Writer Rea Galanaki is the subject of a special presentation at Spiti tou Bouziani, 27 Bouziani Street, Dafni, on Monday, September 23, at 8 p.m. EKEBI librarian Antonis Frangedakis will speak briefly on «Libraries, writers and readers,» then actors Giorgos Giannakopoulos and Marita Pestrova from the Cultural Center’s Diathlasi troupe will read excerpts from the author’s work and present Evanthia Stivanaki’s theatrical adaptation of Galanaki’s novel «I’ll Sign as Louis.» A reception follows. The event was jointly organized by the Dafni Municipal Library, its reading group, Dafni Municipality and the National Book Center. (Information available from the Dafni Municipal Library, Eleni Economopoulou, tel 010.971.1141.) Translation prize The Foundation for Hellenic Culture is presenting its first award for literary translation on September 23 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Center, London at a two-day conference on «The Making of a Literary Translation» held by the British Center for Literary Translation.