Will you be participating in the 2015 National Library Week, which runs April 12–18? We hope so! It’s a great opportunity to bring your community or school together for some fun events that showcase the remarkable evolution of the library. How can you join in the celebration? Here are some ideas to get you started:
If you aren’t already, follow this hashtag! Before the days of an online Britannica and Internet searches, people often went straight to librarians with their questions. When the New York Public Library found a collection of funny, surprising, and downright strange questions posed to librarians over the years, they created this popular hashtag and posted some examples—to the delight of librarians around the world. Take a look! We’re sure you have a few of your own interesting queries to share.
Showcase your evolution. Libraries are evolving every day, offering much more than books and a computer station for research. Highlight one unique thing about your library each day of National Library Week. Hold a series of demonstrations about your 3-D printer, have a hands-on session with your video editing station, or display what people knitted in a library class.
Have you taken a #libraryshelfie yet or posted your #bookface? Join in the fun and share a photo of you and your favorite book on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Encourage your adult patrons to join in too!
Have an all-day read-a-thon. Solicit colleagues, teachers, parents, students, and other volunteers to read a short book or poem aloud—assign time slots from open to close. Plan a discussion or activity around each reading. Public libraries can appoint a time for preschoolers, seniors, work-at-home professionals, and stay-at-home parents during school hours, and then open it up to families and students after school lets out. Schools can have the little ones read to the big kids—or vice versa.
Ask the Kids! Children can make any celebration more amusing when you hear their perspective on a topic. Have them write a few words or sentences about what they love about libraries on post-it notes and place them around the library. For little ones who can’t write yet, have them draw pictures and display those.
Don’t be shy about promoting all that you have to offer! People in the community may not be aware of the wide range of offerings available at your public library, and parents may not know the integral role that the school library plays in their children’s education. Take time during National Library Week to highlight what’s new and special on your home page and on social media, in school newsletters and local newspapers, or at school visits from public librarians. If people haven’t been to the library lately, bring the library to them! Take part in senior luncheons or drop off flyers to commuters at the train station to remind people of the amazing resources at libraries.
Here at Britannica, we’ll be blogging and posting our own celebrations, so stay tuned! Share how YOU are celebrating National Library Week with us on Facebook and Twitter. Britannica is looking forward to hearing from you!
P.S. Watch for our upcoming “Meet Britannica” blog, featuring Britannica’s very own librarian, Henry Bolzon. Hear what he says was one of the most interesting questions posed to him!