Gearing Up for the New Year: Calendar Dates

Each July, I am conflicted over the upcoming death of summer vacation and the birth of a new school year.  The realization that the alarm clock will once again be sounding at 5 a.m. giving me an opportunity for a brand new start causes those proverbial butterflies in my stomach.  I pour over the back-to-school fliers in the Sunday paper while leisurely sipping my hazelnut creme coffee, knowing that the delicious freedom of sleeping late and not living my life by a bell schedule will soon come to an abrupt halt.

Fresh Start…and New School Supplies!

But how can I not love a chance to get it right one more year?  Each August, educators are blessed with the opportunity to improve our teaching and meet new students.

When I moved from the classroom to the media center, I gave up lesson plan books in favor of planning calendars.  Three years ago I found an almost perfect academic planner (At a Glance  Academic Year Weekly/Monthly Planner) and have made a trip to Office Depot each July since then to purchase one for the new year.  This calendar becomes my map and journal for the school year.

Events Sponsored by ALA, YALSA, and the AASL

First to be filled in are important events sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, and the Young Adult Library Services Association.  Those dates for this year include:

Sept:  Library Card Sign-Up Month

Sept. 25 – Oct. 2:  Banned Books Week

Oct. 17 – 23:  Teen Read Week

Nov. 13:  National Gaming Day @ Your Library

Mar. 6 – 12:  Teen Tech Week

April:  School Library Month

Apr. 10 – 16:  National Library Week

Apr. 14:  Support Teen Literature Day

May 1 – 7:  Choose Privacy Week

Other Dates

Once those dates are on the calendar, then I begin to scour the Internet for other events/celebrations that could be added to our library calendar.

Sept. 8:  International Literacy Day – sponsored by the International Reading Association

October:  International School Library Month – sponsored by the International Association of School Librarianship

Nov. 14 – 20:  American Education Week – sponsored by the National Education Association

School Library Monthly‘s Almanacs

School Library Monthly publishes their monthly almanacs online.  You’ll find both an Activities Almanac and an Author and Illustrator Almanac that provide a wealth of information and ideas.

The Author and Illustrator Almanac provides not only the birth dates of important authors and illustrators, but also links to more information on many of them.

The Activites Almanac can be the answer to prayers for bulletin board ideas.  Not only does each month provide an illustration and details on a specific bulletin board, but reading through the events in each month is bound to spark ideas for other bulletin boards and displays.

Thanks to School Library Monthly, I added these dates to our calendar:

October: National Reading Group Month – sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association

February: Library Lovers’ Month

May:  Get Caught Reading Month

Let the Programming Begin!

In addition to these dates, I input dates for our local literacy programs (READissance and Bulldog Booklovers Club).  With this done, I can begin to plan programs and activities to ensure that the library has a major celebration each month.

What Other Events Do You Celebrate?

Have you found a great source for dates of special celebrations? Please share!

Photo attribution

Photo used through a Creative Commons License