Hello youth services librarians and library staff. National Library Week is right around the corner. This year, the annual advocacy event will take place from April 4-10, with the theme, “Welcome to Your Library.” In 1958, the first year that National Library Week was established with the theme, “Wake Up and Read” – it was the first event of its kind to promote literacy and celebrate libraries at the national level (1).
This year’s celebration still does that, and it also recognizes the unique challenges libraries have faced and overcome as they continue to serve their communities throughout the pandemic. For this year’s official celebration, Natalie Portman, who presented at this year’s virtual Midwinter, is the honorary chair (2).
If you work at a larger library, you probably already have events and programs in place to promote and celebrate the key role your library plays in your community. If you work for a smaller library, you may still be working out exactly how to utilize the official branding and resources available to you. To start, you can get inspiration for celebrating the specific days that make up National Library Week, as well as all the image files prepped for social media and more at the official ALA page (3).
Regardless of where you work, and whether your library has a big plan in place or whether it is just you, here are some things that you can do to celebrate National Library Week:
- Read from Natalie Portman’s Fables during a storytime (4). Mention that Natalie Portman is this year’s National Library Week honorary chair, and that this year’s theme is Welcome to Your Library.
- Make a virtual tour to welcome families to your children’s library, and post it as a video on your website and on social media. Be sure to include a tour of the library’s website and digital resources!
- Invite your library families to send in photos of their kids’ drawings of the library. You can have parents email them to you, or they can upload them to a public dropbox link. Then share the images on your library’s Facebook or Instagram page! Don’t forget to use the hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform!
- Familiarize yourself with all of the great advocacy resources available to you, including Libraries Transform (5), ILoveLibraries.org (6), ALSC Everyday Advocacy (7), ALSC’s new Look to Libraries toolkit (8), and ALSC’s Championing Children’s Services Toolkit (9).
These are just a few of the ways you can celebrate National Library Week. But we would love to hear what else you have done – share your National Library Week programs and stories in the comments below.
This post addresses the following competencies: V. Outreach and Advocacy, and III. Programming Skills.
Erica Ruscio is the Young Adult Librarian at Ventress Memorial Library in the South Shore town of Marshfield, Massachusetts. Erica is also a co-chair for ALSC’s Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee.