As you probably all know, February is Black History Month. If you’re not following The Brown Bookshelf’s 28 Days Later feature, you should be. Every day in February they’re posting an interview with a children’s author or illustrator of color. And of course you’ve already familiarized yourself with this year’s Coretta Scott King Book Award winners. Today, I wanted to share with you what my department is doing to celebrate Black History Month.
We put up a bulletin board display featuring famous African Americans and books by and about people of color. Every day we update the bulletin board with a “Today in Black History” fact.
We’re getting daily facts from the website Blackfacts.com. Of course, you’ll want to be sure that the facts you choose are appropriate for your audience and that you double check them against a reliable source (since there don’t appear to be any citations on the site). Today, February 9, our fact reads “February 9, 1995 – Astronaut Bernard Harris became the first African-American to walk in space.”
In front of the bulletin board, we have a display of titles about Black History and famous African-Americans. We also have another, larger Black History book display in the department.
As far as programs go, we hosted a local world music professor who offered an interactive West African Drumming workshop. He presented information about his travels with the Peace Corps in Africa and taught the kids drumming rhythms and dance moves. The kids had a blast (and hey, who doesn’t like to make a little noise in the library?). Other departments at my library are offering programs, too. The art museum associated with my library is hosting Family Fun crafts and making apple bookmarks (paired with the book An Apple for Harriet Tubman by Glennette Tilley Turner, 2006) and helping hands wreaths. Our media department is showing Black History Month movies for their Monday movies and holding a Black History Month Literary Tea and inviting local African-American authors to talk about their books.
So, what’s your library doing for Black History Month?
– Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN