I love that, as an educator, I get two official “starting over so I can get it right this time” days each year: January 1st and the beginning of a new school year (which is Aug. 13th this year). There’s something hopeful and energizing about fresh starts, isn’t there?
I also adore new school supplies; each July I head out to the office supply stores in search of my planner. Several years ago I stumbled across one that is as close to perfect for my needs as I can get without designing one myself: Mead’s QuickNotes Academic Year Weekly/Monthly Planner. It’s well-organized and includes an extra planning space (QuickNotes) each week for jotting notes. Each month begins with a full page of QuickNotes space which is perfect for noting special celebrations for the month.
Noting the Dates
Today, I sat down with my planner, my SCASL Executive Board Handbook, and my Mac. (I want to thank our SCASL leadership this year for including a page of special library-related dates – very helpful!)
One other calendar that is essential to my planning is my school district’s calendar. I crop it a bit and tape it inside the front cover of my planner. I highly recommend doing something similar; I refer to this often during the year.
I am by no means finished with filling in the dates and celebrations, but thought I would share some of what I have so far.
The number one search query for bringing visitors to my site has been “library display ideas” and I hope that those of you who have landed here from such a search will find some ideas to use in your own library.
National Library Card Signup Month
- Partner with the public library to create a display and perhaps have a representative onsite one day. Many students and their parents do not realize all of the resources that are available to them from the public library.
- Print the PSAs from ALA to display. Playing on this idea, get a group of your teachers and administrators to pose holding their public library cards. Ask your superintendent if you can get a photo of him/her also. How about your town’s mayor, police chief, sheriff, local politicians? Make it into a contest to see which students can name the pictured local celebrities.
Banned Books Week Sept. 30 – Oct. 6
Constitution Week Sept. 17-23
- Partner with a social studies/U.S. History teacher to display student work. Because the CCSS recognizes the Constitution as one of the foundational US documents, perhaps you could create a board with not only the history of the Constitution, but also reading strategies.
National Book Month
- The National Book Foundation sponsors this event. Why not use their list of National Book Award Winners (1950-2011) to choose books to display? On October 10, this year’s book award finalists will be announced.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Reading Group Month
Teen Read Week Oct. 14-20
Mystery Series Week – 1st week in October
- This one is new to me. Love mysteries and students often request them. Gather some of your mysteries for a great display the 1st week in October.
Banned Websites Awareness Day Oct. 3rd
National Read Aloud Day Oct. 22nd
National Life Writing Month
- This celebration is perfect for a display of biographies and autobiographies as well as one on books showing your how to chronicle your life’s story.
National Novel Writing Month (Often referred to as “NaNoWriMo”)
- Why not use this month to spotlight several new YA or children’s book authors?
American Education Week Nov. 18 -24th
- Display ideas: books with schools as one of main settings, books about education, faculty members photographed with a favorite book
National Game and Puzzle Week Nov. 18 -24th
- We’ll only have two days of school this week since it falls during Thanksgiving week. Have games spread out on tables for students to play.
Appreciate a Dragon Day Jan. 16th
- Delightfully new to me! Cull all of your dragon books for a dragonlicious display.
- Create a board of literary dragons and ask students to vote for their favorite.
- Use movie tie-ins to The Hobbit that debuts in theaters in December.
ALA Youth Media Awards Jan. 28th
Digital Learning Day Feb. 6th
- This page, created for school librarians, provides lessons, tools, strategies, and more to help you promote this celebration. Visit the Showcases page and watch several of the videos. Can you encourage your teachers to let you film them sharing how they use technology in their instruction? These could be shown on your school’s newscast or played for students before and after school on Feb. 6th.
Teen Tech Week Mar. 10 – 16
- Last year, my co-librarian created a Tech Museum in one of our art display cases. He included artifacts with printed info sheets. Why not show students how technology has changed over time? We had a record player, Sony walkman, a typewriter, 3.5 inch floppy disks, and much more in our case.
Read Across America Day Mar. 2nd
- No one is ever too old for Dr. Seuss! Create a display of his books, or if you are in a library that doesn’t carry many of his books (like my high school library), create a bulletin board with book covers, quotes, and Seuss characters. The NEA provides printables that would go great with a Seuss board.
Freedom of Information Day Mar. 16th
School Library Month
National Library Week Apr. 14 – 20
National D.E.A.R. Day Apr. 12th
- You’ll find a variety of ideas here for displays and activities.
Support Teen Literature Day Apr. 18th
Children’s Book Day Apr. 30th
National Library Legislative Day May 7th
Teacher Appreciation Week May 6 – 10th
Want to discover other appropriate, delightful, or whimsical celebrations to assist you in planning for your library this year? Check out these sites:
School Library Monthly Almanacs: Author & Illustrator and Events (as of this posting, the new school year’s calendars are not posted, but you can review last school year’s calendars for ideas)
ALA’s Celebration Weeks & Promotional Events