Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Celebrating the Library’s Birthday!

Picture of sign saying, "Celebrate 90 years of Northeast Library" and a birthday cake
Sign that reads: "Celebrate 90 years of Northeast Library" and picture of a cake.

A fun and easy way to program is to celebrate your library’s birthday! It’s a great community building moment, since you can reach our to local partners and contacts and bring them in on the celebration.

There are also ways to build interest at different levels, and in a sliding scale of self-directed to full on programming. Last week, my library celebrated our 90th birthday! Ask around to find the start date of your branch, or make one up! (Just be consistent and keep that new date).

Passive/Self-Directed Ways to get people involved:

  • Contests! Have patrons submit contest entries either in person or via your branch email. For our birthday celebration, we are hosting two: a photography contest and a Dog Lookalike contest! (Since our community loves their dogs)!
  • Email flyers to community partners and local contacts to promote your event
  • Reach out to local historical society groups to gather perspectives from the past
  • Create coloring sheets for the library for all ages. We created two “All About the Library” worksheets where people could draw a picture of the library and write/draw what they love to do there. See below for an example.
Picture of "All About NE" library worksheet.

Hands on Programming:

  • A birthday story time! So fun and so easy! Lots of fun birthday books to read like “A Birthday for Cow” by Jan Thomas, “How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday” by Jane Yolen, or “When’s My Birthday” by Julie Fogliano. We even gave out presents to the patrons, by loading them up on extra library swag.
  • Bring back some old favorites! We used our birthday weekend as a chance to bring back our beloved Garden Concerts, which had a great built in love from the community, and free music is always a good chance to grab passerbys and bring them to the library.

Decoration!

  • A chance to be silly! We bought “Happy Birthday” banners from a dollar store and hung them around the desks. We also bought birthday hats for the presenters, and crepe paper to hang around doorways. It brings attention to the celebration, and is always fun!
  • Hang up old photos of your library, if you have them, and let people see how you have grown and changed through the years.

A birthday celebration for your library is a fun and creative way to bring back your audiences and or celebrate all the wonderful library workers that you have!

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