National Library Week is April 23-29, and this year’s theme is “There’s more to the story.” Everyone knows that libraries are filled with stories in a variety of formats: paperback, hardcover, large print, e-book and audiobook. But they offer so much more. Many libraries now lend nontraditional items such as museum passes, board games, musical instruments and tools. In addition, library programming brings communities together for entertainment, education and connection. These include book clubs, story times, movie nights, crafting classes and lectures. Many libraries also offer makerspaces where patrons can think, design, create, experiment, build and invent. And, the ALA adds, “library infrastructure advances communities, providing internet and technology access, literacy skills, and support for businesses, job seekers, and entrepreneurs.”

To celebrate National Library Week, we’ve curated ideas and resources that can help public, school and academic libraries tell meaningful stories about the impact they have in their communities.

Public Libraries

Public libraries can tell the story of how they meet the needs of patrons with essential resources and services. The following ideas can help increase community awareness of your library’s offerings.

  1. Spruce up your library’s digital front door with a website makeover. Ensure that virtual visitors can easily find the information and resources they need. Stacks Library Websites is a web-based content management system that allows librarians ― even those without technical skills ― to manage events, room bookings, locations, users, content creation and more through a single interface. What’s more, Stacks integrates seamlessly with your library catalog and EBSCO Discovery Service.
  2. Hold a maker night for families. Invite kids, teens and their parents to the library for an opportunity to make something new using the equipment from your makerspace. They can make fun or practical objects using your library’s 3D printer, learn how to code using Fiero Code, or produce craft items using your makerspace’s sewing machines and knitting needles. Check out Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center and Flipster digital magazines for a variety of creative ideas and “how-to” instructions.
  3. Engage job seekers and entrepreneurs in your community. Local economies are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people are out of work, considering a career change, or looking to start a small business. Host an information night for job seekers and promote your library’s EBSCO LearningExpress career exploration and preparation resources, including the resume and cover letter builders in Job & Career Accelerator. (Consult our LearningExpress Marketing Best Practices Guide for more promotion tips.) Empower prospective entrepreneurs to start new businesses by hosting roundtable discussions with small business leaders and by offering EBSCO’s Entrepreneurial Mindset Training Course. Remind attendees that the library provides free internet access and meeting rooms to support their work. Tune into our Libraries and Entrepreneurship Webinar Series to learn more about how your library can impact local economic development.
  4. Provide financial literacy education. Help members of your library community achieve financial well-being by offering them opportunities to increase their financial literacy. Collaborate with local banks and organizations to host workshops and seminars, and make sure your collection includes a user-friendly personal finance education resource such as FinancialFit.
  5. Kick off a community-wide reading program. Reading and discussing a common book remains a great way to promote literacy and encourage civic unity. Plan your own community-wide read using ALA’s One Book One Community. NoveList Plus can help you identify possible reads by appeal term, genre or theme. Ensure unlimited access to your community-wide read by choosing a fiction or nonfiction book from one of our EBSCO eBooks subscription collections. Promote your campaign using templates and tools in LibraryAware.

School Libraries

Outreach is just as important for demonstrating the value of school libraries. Library media specialists and teacher librarians can raise the profile of the school library with a variety of fun events and activities.

  1. Include library facts or trivia in your school’s morning announcements. Include questions about library history, books and more.
  2. Familiarize students with your library’s EBSCO databases. Choose from our free scavenger hunt activities and lesson plans or create your own.
  3. Schedule library events in the afternoon or evening for students and their families. Tailor events to the age group, such as special story times for elementary school children and poetry slams or acoustic music cafés for secondary school students. LibraryAware offers a variety of tools and templates to help you promote your event.
  4. Start a before- or after-school code club. Create opportunities for students to build their computer programming skills and prepare for top coding careers using Fiero Code.
  5. Survey teachers to ask for their favorite book. Create a display of these books with the teacher’s name and picture on a placard. This can be a great way to increase circulation.

Don’t forget: April is also School Library Month and National Poetry Month! The EBSCOpost blog offers ideas for celebrating these months, too!

Academic Libraries

Reminding students of the value of their campus library is important year-round, but here are some suggestions for getting the word out during National Library Week.

  1. Post social media messages about the library beginning with “Did you know your library has _____?” and fill in your library’s services and unique offerings.
  2. Borrow ideas from the Miami Dade College LibGuide. Host drop-in sessions for students to meet the library staff, a library scavenger hunt, or a day to “borrow people instead of books” to learn about specific subjects from the experts.
  3. Distribute a coloring page with a fun library theme to celebrate the library’s value and relieve students’ stress.
  4. Display posters touting library features and collections or download these five posters depicting librarians as superheroes who help students in different ways.
  5. Use the free database Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts as a professional development tool for staff.

Need help promoting National Library Week?

Print and hang this colorful poster in your library.