Every year on UNESCO’s designated World Book Day, people in countries around the world come together to celebrate books and reading – what a great idea!
Running since 1995, World Book Day (WBD) is the biggest celebration of its kind, with people from over 100 countries taking part. Here at Softlink we love hearing from library staff who’ve spent weeks and sometimes months planning for the big day and are excited to share with others in the Softlink Education community.
Here’s a brilliant photo we received from Fitzharrys Secondary School in Oxfordshire, England, where all the staff got into the spirit by dressing up as iconic book characters. Don’t they look amazing?
And here are some of the amazing book-themed displays that were entered in Softlink’s Library Display Competition.
If you’d like to get in the spirit of World Book Day, or prepare for International School Libraries Month in April, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and resources, including activities, videos, book ideas, competitions and events, on the World Book Day website.
Below, we’ve rounded up some suggestions from school librarians on how to create a memorable celebration of books and reading for your school community. To download Resource Packs and Book Tokens for your students, visit the WBD Libraries Tool Kit.
Story time is always special in the early years and reading aloud is a favourite activity, but books don’t need to have words to be valuable. Picture books appeal to children and adults alike, so they make a great shared activity. As Teacher Librarian Josephine Laretive details in a guest post for the Softlink blog, they are also a valuable tool for exploring visual literacy in the classroom.
Older students may be hesitant to dress up or be too creative, for fear of standing out or feeling embarrassed. To make them feel more at ease, you could try picking a theme for your Book Day celebrations – they will be more inclined to get involved if they feel they are part of a group effort. You could base your theme on a single book genre, e.g. horror, ghost stories, or dystopian novels, and plan activities and decorations in line with the theme.
Other ideas for secondary schools include:
Whether you choose to celebrate World Book Day or not, we hope the above ideas will inspire you with new ways to keep celebrating books and reading in your school.
We’d love to see how your school library promoted reading and engagement by celebrating World Book Day! If you have photos you’d like to share with us, email email@example.com or tag us on Twitter @SoftlinkEdu.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published March 2018 and has been updated for freshness, relevance, and accuracy in February 2021.