International School Library Month is here! Whether you participate for a day, a week or even the entire month of October, this is an opportunity to celebrate the importance of school libraries with schools from across the globe.
This year’s theme “The School Library: My Happy Place where Creativity and Imagination flourish” highlights the importance of libraries not just as repositories of knowledge but as nurturing grounds for personal growth, exploration, and imaginative thinking.
The International Association of School Librarianship website has a number of great ideas to help you celebrate and get your students’ imaginations running wild!
Ask students to design a poster inspired by the book they’re reading, a favourite book they have read in the past or around the “Creativity and Imagination” theme.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Create a bingo card encouraging students to read a variety of books beyond what they usually read. As with regular bingo, the aim is to complete a row on the card.
Looking for some printable templates?
If you’re an Oliver v5 user, we now have Genre Bingo available on our In-School Promotional resources page. These printable resources have been designed for both Orbit users and older students, and use the genre icons available in your system – making it even easier to teach students how to locate books in your library!
Here are some other templates that we found:
Hide books, library material, etc. in areas of the school under the supervision of teachers and run a timed scavenger hunt.
If you’re an Oliver v5 user, perhaps you could print some of the free posters or bookmarks found on our In-School Promotional resources page and hang them around the school instead. Students then mark off the location of the posters on a basic map. You could even run this for a week, or the entire month, and have students submit their completed map to the library for a prize draw. What a fantastic opportunity to promote your library!
Another option for a scavenger hunt that will help your students get to know your library is this fantastic resource produced by Capstone Publishing that asks students to find books that meet a particular criteria, e.g. about a superhero, with a mystery to solve, with only one word in the title etc.
Create a fun library display on the topic of imagination, or a book display around the “Let’s Imagine” theme.
You can find a number of great library displays in this blog post, below are some that may “spark the imagination”.
Another way to encourage students to read a variety of books outside their comfort zone is through a “book buffet” or “speed date with a book”. Not sure how to get started? Here are some ideas we found:
Organise an author or illustrator visit to inspire reading and writing, and to help them understand the creative process. Here are some articles about the benefits of author visits, and some tips for arranging one.
Using comments from the annual School Library Surveys, these features share innovative ideas, ideas for collaboration, ideas for promoting the library, challenges, and more. To learn more and access these features read this blog post.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published September 2022 and has been updated for freshness, relevance, and accuracy in September 2023.