If you didn’t already know National Library Week started on Monday and I, for one, am excited! All right. I know this week isn’t as highly anticipated Christmas or Thanksgiving, but I believe when our nation gets together to celebrate an institution that gives us access to free literature, it deserves to be acknowledged. Not everyone has access to libraries like we do.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country, generally the second week each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special libraries – participate.
I visit the library at least once per week at a minimum – no exaggeration. I’m either picking out books for the kids, for myself, taking the kids to story time, picking up free passes, or checking out an event. In addition to visiting my local library I also frequent other libraries in my state. For me, the library is not just about the books. It’s a community within a community. It is a warm place to make new friends, take some time away from our hectic world, and just be. I love the library!
Ok, so now let’s talk about some ways you and your kids can celebrate National Library Week:
1. Write A Thank You Note
Yes, I’m still one of the few people who believe in hand-written thank you cards. You can write a note, have your kids color a picture, or send out an email to your local branch letting them know they are appreciated and valued. This method of showing thankfulness may be old fashioned, but, its effective! At least I think so.
2. Tunnel Your Inner Martha Stewart and Do a Craft Project Together
There are endless ways to connect your kids to National Library week through hands-on activities.
• Browse Pinterest and search for ‘book crafts’.
• Have your kids pick out a favorite book and allow them to brainstorm something you can create based on that story.
• Throw together some costumes and act out your favorite book. And when I say “costumes”, I am talking raiding your own closets, using construction paper and empty toilet paper rolls for props, and putting a colander on your head for a helmet. Nothing fancy here folks! Get silly and be creative.
3. Whip up Something in the Kitchen
Another great way to celebrate this week is to bring books to life by cooking in the kitchen! Have you ever actually made Green Eggs & Ham? (Neither have I.) Give it a try this week if you’re so inclined to. Not only does it get kids involved in books in a way that they may not have originally thought about, but it teaches a plethora of skills, including math, following directions, problem solving, independence, follow through, and even teamwork.
I salute librarians everywhere! They are some of the unspoken heroes that make up every community. Why not take time out of your busy week and visit your local library? Now more than ever libraries need our support as they are just as valuable to our families today as they were 30 years ago.
Your turn: Will you be celebrating National Library Week with your kiddos? How do you plan to celebrate?