The month of April is an especially good month for books and authors. There are a number of events for readers, and days, weeks and even the entire month are devoted to different aspects of the reading world. In fact, the month of April is all about highlighting reading and books.
April is known as School Library Month, an event that has happened every year since its introduction in 1985. The month is designated to celebrate school librarians, and the events that they put on to promote reading in schools. The event was first introduced in 1985 as School Library Media Month, but in 2010 the name was changed to eliminate the word media. This change came after the formal name change from school library media specialist to the title of school librarian.
The original committee worked to put together a handbook, that ended up being over 50 pages, with ideas and suggestions from previous celebrations and events for school libraries, that were held in different cities and states. This handbook was then used to help honor the first ever national observance of School Library Month. That first ever celebration was kicked off with a speech that was held on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Now the month of April is a complete celebration of books and reading, as a number of different events are also highlighted, to coincide with School Library Month. From April 12 to 18, it is National Library Week, which is a national observance in honor of the nation’s libraries and their contributions to society. This week long observation was first introduced and sponsored in 1958. It is a celebration that honors all libraries, and looks for participation from academic, public, school and special libraries.
To go along with these longer celebrations and observations, there are single days devoted to books and reading throughout the month, as well. On April 12, there is Drop Everything And Read (DEAR). DEAR was written about by Beverly Cleary in her book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8. So while the entire month is devoted to this idea, April 12 is set aside to honor Cleary and her work, on what would be her birthday. Work which has been considered to be classical and much loved since it was first published.
Other days devoted to books and reading are held on specific days throughout National Library Week. On April 14, it is National Library Workers Day. April 15 is marked as National Bookmobile Day, and April 16 is Celebrate Teen Literature Day.
National Library Workers Day was first celebrated in 2004 and its purpose was to recognize librarians, support staff and all of those individuals who make the library run. Celebrate Teen Literature Day first started its run in 2007 under the name Support Teen Literature Day. The day is a way to raise awareness about the vibrant offerings within the genre and how much it continues to grow and change. It is also a way to showcase the authors and books that make up this realm of reading. Then there is National Bookmobile Day which originated in 2010. This day is a celebration of the contributions that bookmobiles, and the professionals who work with them, make to the communities they reach.
With the month of April being all about highlighting books and reading, there are so many choices for days to celebrate. Libraries across the country will be offering programs and events in honor of this month, dedicated to reading, books and the places that offer everyone a chance to turn the pages.
By Kimberley Spinney
Photo by Samantha Marx – Flickr License