The Library History Buff
Promoting the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of library history
National Library Heritage Day
National Library Heritage Day is an idea for annually promoting America's library heritage. It would be similar to the American Library Association's promotion of National Library Workers Day which occurs annually on the Wednesday of National Library Week. In 2009 Teen Literature Day will be celebrated on the Thursday of National Library Week. It is proposed that National Library Heritage Day occur on the Saturday of National Library Week so that libraries can plan activities and events involving families (2009 - April 18; 2010 - April 10; 2011 - April 16; 2012 - April 14; 2013 - April 20).
Rationale: In addition to promoting a better understanding and appreciation for America's library heritage, National Library Heritage Day would provide an additional avenue for marketing America's libraries at the local, state, and national levels. It would tie in well with the National Library Week campaign. It also ties in well with ALA's "I Love Libraries" campaign. After all, if you really love libraries you're probably going to love their history. The American Association of School Libraries celebrates School Library Media Month in April each year. Maybe, they could set aside one of the days to celebrate the heritage of school libraries.
Implementation: Ideally, the American Library Association would take the lead in creating and promoting National Library Heritage Day. However, any state level library entity or even an individual library has the ability to create and celebrate its own Library Heritage Day.
Some preliminary ideas for celebrating National Library Heritage Day
For national level library associations and agencies:
Tie National Library Heritage Day to the promotion of National Library Week including the development of promotional items like posters, bookmarks, etc.
Create and highlight historical information about libraries and/or the national level library association or agency on the entity's website.
The Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services all have potential resources to contribute to this endeavor.
For state level library associations and agencies:
Arrange for the Governor to issue a proclamation designating Library Heritage Day.
Cooperate with state level historical agencies to promote Library Heritage Day.
For individual libraries:
Hold a birthday party for the library.
Host a display of historical artifacts related to library history at the local, state, or national level.
Invite an impersonator of a national, state, or local library figure in the past to perform a skit. Possibilities: Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Melvil Dewey, or one of the many outstanding women librarians who promoted early library development such as Lutie Stearns of Wisconsin.
Get local actors to reenact a pivotal meeting in the formation or early history of the library.
Work with the local post office to create a pictorial postmark related to the library's anniversary. Create a souvenir envelope to go with the postmark and include an insert with the history of the library.
Create or expand a section of the library's website devoted to the history of the library.
Cooperate with local library historical societies to promote activities and events.
If you have other ideas for promoting National Library Heritage Day, send them to Larry Nix at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Last updated: 04-18-09 © 2005-2009 Larry T. Nix
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