February has long been a time to celebrate love (think Valentine’s Day), but increasingly it’s also a time for the community to demonstrate love for their library.
In the UK the 6 February is National Libraries Day. Now in its fifth year, the annual celebration highlights the importance of libraries as vitally important public services which are loved by individuals and communities everywhere.
Meanwhile in the US February is Library Lovers Month based around Ilovelibraries.org, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries. Ilovelibraries.org promotes the value of libraries and librarians, explains key issues affecting libraries, and urges readers to support and take action for their libraries.
In the southern hemisphere Australian librarians have claimed Valentines Day (14th February) and made it their own – Library Lovers Day ! They argue that not everyone receives flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day but everyone can use their library. This year Library Lovers Day will celebrate 10 years since it was launched.
In a specially recorded message singer, songwriter and musician John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, implores the UK to value its libraries and urges everyone to show their support on National Libraries Day, Saturday 7 February.
Crediting libraries and librarians for his recovery from memory loss after contracting meningitis as an eight year old, the audio message was recorded to mark the annual national celebration of libraries and library staff and follows the recent publication of Lydon’s autobiography, Anger is an Energy. The recording will be available to listen to on Saturday 7 February via the National Libraries Day website.
7 February rounds off a week’s worth of celebrations hosted by libraries of all kinds around the UK for their communities, including a J.R.R. Tolkien trail walk, a school’s Guinness World Record attempt, stargazing and Warhammer and special appearances by local authors, historians and others.
Details of nationwide events are posted to the National Libraries Day online event map and people can show their support in person by joining a local event or by simply visiting their library during National Libraries Day week. Supporters can also share stories, messages and library ‘shelfies’ online and on social media.
First introduced in 2012, National Libraries Day is designed to say a collective thank-you to librarians and library staff everywhere and to raise awareness of the valued services they offer. Last year thousands of people took part in over 600 events and many public figures including well-known authors, illustrators, MPs and musicians sent messages of support.
Image source: “John Lydon Mosaic by Ed Chapman” by dullhunk, used under CC BY 2.0 / Background colour changed, text added and image cropped and resized
Already January is disappearing fast and February is almost upon us with two big library celebrations that we’re aware of (we’d love to hear of any others).
In the United Kingdom on Saturday 8 February they’ll be celebrating National Libraries Day, a culmination of a week’s worth of celebrations in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the UK. The website has some great ideas and inspiring stories.
For many people 14 Febrarury signals Valentine’s Day but in Australia it’s also Library Lovers Day!, a day for everyone to share their love of libraries. Not everyone receives flowers or chocolates on 14 February but everyone can enjoy their library.