What better season than spring to dive into your favorite book while celebrating your love of reading? From across the nation, all will salute the month of April with their favorite book, during “National Library Week.” The nationwide celebration begins on April 7th and runs the entire week until April 13th.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country. The first week of April is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries, as well as librarians. It also is the week chosen to promote library use and support. Libraries of all kinds—from school, academic and public—are encouraged and excited to participate.
What types of activities occur during this week-long celebration of literacy? There are a variety of activities including:
- Monday, April 8: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2018.
- Tuesday, April 9: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, administrators, and friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. #nlwd19
- Wednesday, April 10: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make high-quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities. #BookmobileDay2019
- Thursday, April 11: Take Action for Libraries Day, a day to speak up for libraries and share your library story. #MyLibraryMyStory
What are some ways for your own family to celebrate? All are welcome to join the celebration by heading over to the local library this week. Each library will have a different type of celebration. Make the trip an event for the family by allowing plenty of time to enjoy activities. Another effortless way to partake in the celebration is to encourage children to take part in their own school library celebrations. April also happens to be “School Library Month.”
“School Library Month” is the American Association of School Librarians’ celebration of school librarians and all of the wonderful programs offered to students. Every April, school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school, as well as local community, celebrate the vital part a school library program has in promoting learning. The 2019 “School Library Month” theme is “Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library.” The 2019 spokesperson for the month, is “Captain Underpants” creator, Dav Pilkey.
Pilkey himself knows firsthand how learning can be transformed through a local school library. The author and illustrator told the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) that, “Growing up with learning challenges in school after being diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, I’ve been fortunate to have had the encouragement and support of my parents who helped me to associate reading with fun.”
Pilkey went on to say that, “I have fond memories of going to the library with my mom who had a radical idea—she let me pick whatever book I wanted to read. I read lots of books and magazines that made me laugh out loud, which led me to discover many other books in different genres.” This radical idea is probably what led to Pilkey’s success at creating the widely popular, graphic novel series of “Captain Underpants.” Thanks to the hilarious plotline and eye-catching illustrations that each book provides, the series is loved by children who may not gravitate to traditional chapter books.
The beloved author ended with, “Over the years I’ve had the privilege to have met many committed librarians whose passion and dedication to literacy is life changing. I’m honored to be this year’s AASL ambassador for school libraries and an advocate for everything they do to make the world a better place.”