Blogger Angela Reynolds

Sleeping @the library

January 27 is Family Literacy Day in Canada. Created 10 years ago by ABC Canada, the day has become quite a celebration in Canadian libraries.

Robert Munsch has become the FLD honourary chair, and each year he has made a visit to some lucky child’s library or school, as a result of a contest that ABC Canada holds. Every year, we encourage kids from our area to enter the contest, and some do. We’ve also written letters to the elusive Mr. Munsch (see his policy on visits here:, inviting him to our annual FLD celebrations. This year, he said yes to one of our libraries.

For the past 5 years, our Wolfville branch has held a Family Literacy Day Sleepover, on the Friday night closest to January 27. 15 families sign up to sleep in the library. If you’ve never done this, I highly recommend it. Here’s how they do it: Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Ages 6-11 are invited. There’s a limit on how many can come because the library is pretty small. At 6:30, kids come in to “Stake their territory”. This is when they choose their spot, set up camp, and get everything settled. Settled is a relative term, as this is a wild time– the jostle for the best spot and the set-up is noisy and loads fun to watch. I was lucky–I got there early (as staff) and got the sweet spot — behind the circ desk! Around 7 PM, a game is held–this year it was a scavenger hunt with all answers in the books on our “100 Books” list.

At 8 PM, there’s a special guest. Two years ago, I was the guest, to tell stories. Last year a staff person’s hubby came and taught nautical knots. This year, we had a very special guest- -Robert Munsch! Long story short, the staff person who coordinates the sleepover wrote him a letter, telling him about the sleepover, and he said he’d like to come. And he did! Mr. Munsch is a wonderfully fun storyteller, and the kids love him. He’s silly, outrageous, and very entertaining. If you’d like to see him in action, here’s a video I took that evening:

All I can say is that he is most gracious, and it can’t hurt to write him a letter, you might get lucky as we did!  So, back to the sleepover…. After the special guest there’s pizza, and then at 10:30, lights out. By 10:30, most of the younger kids are pooped, and the older ones start to settle down to read. Those in the know bring their flashlights for reading after lights out. In the morning, at 7 AM (yes, that does feel early after sleeping on the hard library floor), there’s coffee & tea for the adults, juice and milk and cereal and muffins… then everyone packs up and goes home. I also made a video of the sleepover, which can be viewed here (it is about 8 minutes):

 So, get planning, and hold your own sleepover–for years, I’ve resisted attending one of these for the whole night, but I had so much fun, that I’d certainly do it again. Famous guest aside, my favourite part was seeing the excitement in both kids and parents–just to sleep in the library–what a blast!

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