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Celebrating International School Library Day


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A celebration of school libraries and their importance across the globe, International School Library Day is back again on the 19th of October!

The Australian Library and Information Association website has some great ideas to help you celebrate and engage your students and school community.

This year we thought we’d shortlist some of these suggestions (and more) and provide some useful resources to assist you with planning. We hope you find something you like!

Ideas for International School Library Day

1. Trivia night

Always a crowd favourite, why not host a trivia night themed around books and media? To encourage library engagement, you could advertise that some questions will be specific to your library, and students should drop in to observe and memorise the space. Clues or riddles could even be placed around the library, giving visiting students an advantage on some of the harder questions!

If COVID-19 restrictions have impacted fundraisers for your library, a trivia night could be a great opportunity to raise some funds, by charging a small entry fee and awarding affordable prizes.

A trivia night can also be held virtually to address social distancing concerns. This Zoom trivia night video walks you through the entire process or you could also consider a colourful and interactive game of Kahoot!

2. Storytime

Host a special storytime event on the day. This is a fantastic opportunity to buddy older and younger students to read with each other or invite family members to read to, and with, students.

Storytime could also be virtual, which may provide more opportunity for families to get involved. With the sudden shift toward virtual teaching, there are many resources available to assist with the technical and creative aspects. And for the cinematic visionaries out there, story readings could also be pre-recorded and edited to play again and again!

Encourage storytellers to really put on a show with their best character voices or acting (and a costume if they’re really committed!) then have the children vote for the best presenter either in person or with a virtual poll.

3. Scavenger hunt

Encourage students to explore areas of the library they may have neglected and try something new with a competitive scavenger hunt.

The below scavenger hunt list will have students engage with each other and staff in order to cross off their boxes. Along the way they’ll find new books to read, stories to tell, and old reads to pick up again. Students will also learn basic library skills like how to use a computer to find a book.

Making your own scavenger hunt is quick and easy and could include items specific to your library. You could also hide things for the students to find or create a theme. Pirates are always popular for a hunt!

Check out this great resource which includes ideas for challenge options and printable scavenger hunt bookmarks or one designed for younger students.

4. Positive peer-pressure

It’s a joyous occasion to see a student so excited about a book that their friends just have to read it too. Give these budding librarians a space to be heard and use International School Library Day as the opening ceremony for a wall dedicated to student recommendations.

Playdough to Plato have a fantastic printable sheet encouraging students to be creative with their recommendations. The Brown Bag Teacher also has an informative blog on the subject, including a link to another style of worksheet.

You could later add this list to your LMS as a “student recommendations list”, and don’t forget to take a photo to share in your networks and social media!

5. Bounty hunting

Wanted poster

Wanted posters are a great way to build understanding of character development, critical thinking skills and the elements of storytelling. Poster templates that involve sections like ‘clues at the scene’ engage those critical thinking skills, encouraging students to consider untold elements of the story and think outside the box.

Fairy tales are an easy choice but why not encourage students to try this with other genres, such as historical non-fiction?

You could even collect these wanted posters for your next library display!

Want to learn more about engaging students in the library?

Editors note: This blog was originally published in October 2020, updated in October 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and relevancy.