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April is National School Library Month

April 09, 2012 · 33 Comments

I love the spring.  This year in our neck of the woods has been especially beautiful as we’ve been experiencing milder than normal temps, so the flowers are blooming, the grass is turning green, and it has made for a wonderful celebration of spring! 

But another reason I love the springtime is because April is National School Library Month!  What could be better than an entire 30 days devoted to celebrating and recognizing all that the school library program brings to the school community?  National School Library Month is the perfect opportunity for school librarians to get out there and spread the message throughout the school and the community about what 21st century school libraries look like and what 21st century school librarians do! 

I could spend this entire blog post just telling you the history behind the month, but it will be so much easier if you listen to the podcast with Lucille Thomas who spearheaded the establishment of school library month almost 30 years ago.  There is also additional history and documentation provided by AASL as well.

The School Library Month Committee has been hard at work pulling together a variety of tools and resources to help you celebrate National School Library Month.   There are flyers, public service announcements, ideas, podcasts, webinars, and even a student video contest (deadline for submissions is over, but winners will be announced in mid-April!).  You can access all of these on the AASL website –
http://www.ala.org/aasl/aaslissues/slm/schoollibrary

National School Library Month is the perfect opportunity to get the word out about the great things happening in your school library.  There are countless ideas you could do:

•    Special programming or events.
•    Invite parents, administrators, and legislators to come in and tour the program and facility.
•    Share what students think about the school library in newsletters, flyers, etc.
•    Create a video to post on the library website about how the library impacts students and staff.
•    Research contests to get students using library resources.
•    Unveil new resources – books, eBooks, databases, etc.

My guess is you’ll be able to think of a lot better ideas than I did in just a few minutes, but the possibilities are endless.  The AASL website has lots of great ideas, too.  Many of the Advocacy Tips of the Day would make great ways to promote National School Library Month, too. 

Make sure that everyone in your school knows that April is National School Library Month and just exactly what the school library does to support students in preparing them for their future.  But, don’t let it end there.  It is always great to have a month to celebrate school libraries, but in the back of your mind thinking about celebrating school libraries all year long.  We can’t rest after the 30 days this month.  School librarians have to constantly and consistently be working on advocating and promoting what they are doing each and every day for students.

Happy School Library MonthCarl is the librarian at North Elementary School in Noblesville, Indiana and the 2011-2012 President of the American Association of School Librarians.  He can be reached at carl@carl-harvey.com or @caharvey2 on Twitter.  He blogs at Library Ties – http://www.carl-harvey.com/libraryties/

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33 CommentsTags: library advocacy · school libraries · school library month