No, we’re not talking about Cupid… February is also Library Lovers’ Month! In this blog, we’ve compiled some ideas to encourage your students and community to express their love for your library.
A library provides shelter and a safe environment for those in need. A place to explore new worlds and experience new adventures. A warm and friendly place to rest, and of course a space filled with endless knowledge – available to anyone who desires it!
This Library Lovers’ Month, invite students to write or draw why they love their library. In the spirit of the month, work to guide students away from obvious answers like “I like reading” and instead explore how the library makes them feel. For a bit of emotional vocabulary assistance, students can be provided with one of the many feeling word lists available online.
For a more artistically creative activity, why not try a Design Your Own Library competition? You may even find some ideas to implement in your own space (hint: bean bags!).
You’ll only need paper, some colourful pens, and the endless imagination of young minds. You might also get a kick out of joining in on this one!
Next time you stumble across a lost student looking for their new adventure, you can direct them to the “loved books wall” to find their way.
ALIA has this fantastic suggestion:
Create a Library Lovers’ Day display of romance books. Decorate the display with red flowers, or streamers. Don’t forget to share your results on social media using #LibraryLoversDay so we can all see what you’ve accomplished.
February is the perfect month to invite family members to read with students, or simply buddy older and younger students. Storytime could also be virtual, which may provide more opportunity for families to get involved.
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.
In 2020, the popularity of virtual book readings skyrocketed, and many celebrities jumped on board to assist in the entertainment of isolated children. As a result, there are plenty of recorded readings available for free and at the click of a mouse. Having a famous face as the reader is not only engaging, but a quick video reading can occupy your students while you’re setting up activities or tending to library business!
Try some of our favourites: Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog, a very enthusiastic reading of Everything is Mama by Jimmy Fallon, or a fantastically animated reading of Quackenstein Hatches a Family by Kristen Bell.
Consider regularly scheduling a recorded story time, played on a TV or computer in your library. Alternating between celebrities, school staff or even family members if they’re able to contribute a read.
Another great option is inviting the students to make their own recorded readings to be added to the rotation, either at home or in-library. Kids will get a kick out of seeing themselves and their peers up on the screen!
What do school library staff love about their role? In the 2020 School Library Survey (UK) we asked the question, “What is the best thing about working in a school library?”
There were so many fantastic responses, which will be shared in the coming months, but here’s a few that we really loved!
Over the years, responses to the Softlink School Library Survey have revealed the passion, dedication and drive of school library staff. We’ve collated these comments and produced feature documents, which we hope will inspire and encourage you… Here are a few of our favourites:
Now, we haven’t forgotten to include some activities for the kids! Library staff, here’s your opportunity to really show your students why you do what you do!
This month presents an opportunity to run “teacher-librarian workshops” for interested students to learn the ropes and play librarian for a day (or at least an hour).
Sorting, labelling, shelving… Anything little hands can help with. Who knows, you might plant the seed of passion that will one day grow a new librarian!
For something a little more simple, add this reading of Curious George – Librarian for a Day into your virtual reading schedule.
You could also try this great suggestion from ALIA: