School Library Month is the American Association of School Librarians’ annual celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April, school librarians are encouraged to host activities and events to help their school and local community celebrate the vital role that strong school library programs play in transforming learning. The 2021 theme is “Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library.”
Here are 10 ideas to help you celebrate School Library Month and connect with students, educators and parents:
1. Create a “student picks” book display. Invite students to suggest their favorite books for a display, along with a note about why they liked it and why they think others should read it. You could also do a “staff picks” display.
2. Hold a poster contest. Invite students to design a poster that creatively promotes the school library. Encourage students to use your library’s makerspace materials. Give them a deadline for submissions, hang the finished posters around the library and invite students to vote for their favorite. Award a prize to the winner.
3. Host a maker night! Invite students to bring their parents to the library for an evening of crafting, inventing, building and tinkering. Don’t have a makerspace in your library yet? Here are some tips to get your started.
4. Challenge students to write a graphic novel about the school library and all it offers. It’s a great opportunity for creative thinkers, writers and artists to collaborate on a project that tells your library’s unique story. Download our 11×17 graphic novels poster for inspiration.
5. Host an after-school book swap for students and faculty. It’s a great way for students and teachers to connect over their favorite books. Place a sign-up sheet in the library and on school bulletin boards. Promote the event on social media and in morning announcements. The day of the book swap, each participant brings any number of books from home that they’re willing to part with. Books can be sorted on library tables by subject, genre or reading level. Participants draw numbers to see who gets to select first. Hold as many rounds as needed until everyone is satisfied with their new reads. The number of books a participant can choose matches the number of books they bring. Any books not selected can be donated. And don’t forget the snacks.
6. Host a book tasting. A book tasting provides students with an opportunity to sample different books to see if they’d like to read them. It’s a great activity for introducing students to new books and promoting a love of reading at all grade levels. NoveList® Plus and NoveList® K-8 Plus can help you identify books from various genres or appeal terms to include on the menu!
7. Sponsor a book drive. Recruit students to organize a collection of gently used books and donate them to local shelters and nursing homes.
8. Host a lunch and listen. Invite students to the library during their lunch period to listen to an audiobook. EBSCO Audiobooks™ includes the latest audiobooks from top-selling authors and famous narrators.
9. Invite students to design a new school library logo. Establishing a brand will help to increase your school library’s visibility among students, faculty, administrators and parents. A logo can be placed on school library computers and equipment, the library web page and social media sites. Work with your school’s graphic design and marketing teachers to develop the project. Read our blog post on school library advocacy and download the white paper for more branding ideas.
10. Host an author event. Invite a local author, poet or illustrator to speak to students about their craft — in school or via Skype. Author visits offer many benefits. Skype visits may be easier to arrange than in-person visits, but you’ll still need several months to plan an author event. If you start planning now, you could book an author for next April!