This year I’m adding another EVENT to my calendar: ABC Day, and this is my official invitation to all my fellow librarians to join me. Sandwiched between the back to school books I put out in August and the Halloween books in October, I’m going to pull and display my library’s many alphabet books during September, and I’ll also break out the alphabet crafts and snacks big time.
My aim is to kick off a new celebration, an ABC Day event, on September 8. Just as September is National Literacy Month, September 8 is International Literacy Day. Like so many of my fellow children’s librarians, event planning is part of my day-to-day. And I think an ABC Day would be a great focus for celebrating literacy.
I already have stacks of great books with fantastic artwork for a wonderful visual display. After the summer reading program, it will be a no-brainer just to pull them. They’re waiting on my shelves with their neat ABC label waiting for their turn. There are so many gorgeous ABC books done by great illustrators. I keep telling myself that I have enough of them, I needn’t order any more. Then along comes funny Alpha Oops by Alethea Kontis, Z is for Moose by Kelley Bingham, Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra, and the extraordinary pop up ABCD by Marion Bataille.
The ABCs will always have a grip on us. Some of the first books made were ABC books, out of hornbook, for children and we’re still surrounded by new offerings by publishers, illustrators and authors. The ABCs are the most powerful symbols our society has produced. 26 symbols and out of those, 250,000,000 words – and that’s just in the English language. We sew letters in fancy stitchery on our towels. I’ve seen the letters inked in illuminated manuscripts, hot glue gunned in buttons, and built of Legos or bottlecaps. Keeping up to date, ABC books may name animals, superheroes, or religious characters. My library’s most popular ABC book now is the Star Wars ABC board book, although “A was once an Apple Pye” still works.
There are so many great games and crafts associated with the ABCs. Plus 26 letters – 30 days hath September. That could be a different letter every day of the month. Kids come in.
Flash them the sign language letter of the day. Have a letter of the day scavenger hunt. If their name begins with the letter, they get a prize. If they check out a book whose author’s name begins with that letter, they get a stamp on their hands…
And there’s more than one alphabet to display. Sign language, Braille, the flag alphabet… Some children may already be studying other alphabets, like Hebrew, Cyrillic, or Phillipino.
This event is still in the planning stages. I’m hoping others will join me because, like Dr. Seuss’ birthday, it will be so much more exciting if The Day is celebrated in libraries all over the country. Oh, and by the way? September 8 falls on a Sunday. I vote that we celebrate it on Friday this year. If I’m doing the letters on each day of the week, I’ll be partying down with F that day, so that means – you guessed it, a Fancy Nancy Party!
I’ve started a page at http://www.squidoo.com/abc-day with more information and links. I’m also pinning under ABC Day at http://pinterest.com/tfsherman/abc-day-sept-8-international-literacy-day/
I welcome your comments!
Our guest blogger today is Travis Sherman. Travis is a Youth Services Librarian at Gulf Beaches Public Library in Madeira Beach, Florida.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at email@example.com.