Join us March 7th-10th, 2024 for the First Tampa International Book Fair!

About the fair

The Tampa International Book Fair (TIBF) is an initiative of the Tampa Lector Consortium in collaboration with the Círculo Cubano of Tampa (the Cuban Club), Hillsborough Community College-Ybor Campus, the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of South Florida, and the Center for José Martí Studies Affiliate at the University of Tampa, and numerous scholars and individuals from Tampa and Miami, Florida, and other locations nationwide and abroad, who love Tampa, its history and, most of all-books.

The history of Tampa, like that of so many cities in this country, is extraordinarily multicultural and rich. It deserves to have an International Book Festival that becomes a yearly festival for lovers of reading and books—a place for the entire community to gather and celebrate the city’s unique history, its present and, most importantly, its future. The immigrant cigar workers and factory owners who settled here played a huge role in the city’s growth and culture. So do their descendants today, as well as Tampa’s  new immigrants. In fact, Tampa is still home to the descendants of the city’s founding families as well as of some of Ybor City and West Tampa’s best-known cigar factory readers—a unique profession if there ever was one. 

These lectores contributed a great deal to the education of the cigar workers and the community, at large, reading newspapers and books to the workers for several hours a day, which is why his first iteration of the festival is honoring  the lector tradition. For this and many other reasons, our book fair is multicultural and multilingual, and is being organized by a diverse group of people who love Tampa and have a shared vision of what this Fair can bring to the community and Hillsborough County.


The Tampa International Book Fair’s main mission is to foster reading by creating a space in which local and visiting readers and writers can meet and interact, and by providing a safe space in which to promote reading among children and adolescents.

Given Ybor City’s  increasing redevelopment, the Tampa International Book Fair and the Tampa Lector Consortium, the fair’s main organizer,  will support and promote already existing restaurants, hotels, residential development, and other businesses, and promise to generate other, non-festival related cultural activities in the near future. This March’s Tampa International Book Fair intercultural celebration will play an important part in enriching Tampa’s already eminent  reputation as a vibrant destination city.

Organizing committee

Organizing Committee:

  • Alberto Sicilia
  • Dr. Kenya Dworkin y Mendez
  • Dr. Liliana Villavicencio
  • Dr. Madeline Cámara
  • Dr. Larissa Baia
  • Dr. Beatriz Padilla
  • Dr. James López
  • Carlos Camargo Vilardy
  • Patrick Manteiga
  • Gabriel Cartaya
  • Mario Javier Pérez

Organizing Committee:

  • Fernando Valdivia
  • David Morales
  • Rufino Pavón
  • Efraín Taveras
  • Vicente Amor
  • Yosvel González
  • Carmen Capdevila
  • Alfredo Prieto

Finance Committee:

  • Antonio Bechily
  • Alberto Sicilia
  • Gabriel Cartaya
  • Fernando Valdivia
  • María Debes
  • Ariel Quintela

Publicity Committee:

  • Gabriel Cartaya
  • Frank Rojas
  • Felipe Camargo
  • Eileen Valdés
  • Dr. Liliana Villavicencio
  • Yoshvani Medina
  • Manuela Ball Camurdan
  • Antonio Gómez Santiago

With additional logistical and tactical support from:

  • Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean, University of South Florida
  • Center for José Martí Studies Affiliate, University of Tampa