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Special Days to Celebrate in Your School Library 2024 - Term 1


Calendar dates are a great way to recognise and celebrate important events, cultures, and individuals within our communities. As a school library, there are many special days to celebrate to promote diversity, inclusion, and understanding among your students and staff. You can also download our free printable calendar of special days from this link and download our matching Oliver news pages!

Here are some fun, inspiring and relevant special days that can be celebrated in a school library, along with some ideas for how to do so:

January 2024

International Day of Education: January 24th 

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed January 24th as the International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. To celebrate this event in the school library, you could set up a display featuring books and other materials that highlight the importance of education, or how schools have changed over generations. 

Aboriginal Cultural Showcase Week: January 24th - 26th

The Aboriginal Cultural Showcase is a 10-day event that celebrates the culture and traditions of Australia's Indigenous peoples. It is a chance to learn about and appreciate the unique heritage of these communities. 

To mark this occasion in the school library, consider setting up a display featuring Indigenous-authored books and other materials, such as those written by Trina Saffioti, the Indigenous Australian author of "Stolen Girl" and “Tom Tom” written by Rosemary Sullivan. Another option is to invite guest speakers from the Indigenous community to talk to students about their people and traditions.

Multicultural Children's Book Day: January 25th

Multicultural Children's Book Day is an annual event that promotes diversity in children's literature and celebrates the importance of cultural representation in children's books. To celebrate this day, educators can organise book clubs or discussion groups focused on diversity in literature, and invite guest speakers from diverse cultural backgrounds to share their experiences and insights with students.

A recommended book for children to read about cultural diversity is "The Colors of Us" by Karen Katz. This picture book follows a young girl as she explores the different shades of skin colour among her friends and community, and learns about the beauty and uniqueness of each person.

Data Protection Day: January 28th

Data Protection Day serves as an important reminder of the need for data security, particularly for children. As part of the celebrations, it's crucial to educate children and young people on the importance of protecting their personal information and the steps they can take to ensure their online and personal safety. Arranging a classroom discussion with your school IT team to share their knowledge and insights with students is also a great way to raise awareness and foster a culture of online safety among young people.

February 2024

Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC)

The Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is an annual literacy initiative organised by each state in Australia, promoting reading for pleasure and learning among children. The challenge aims to improve literacy skills and instill a love for reading, contributing to the overall development of young readers. The schedule for the 2024 PRC varies across states, with specific start and end dates outlined for each region below. 

Australian Capital Territory T1 – 5th Feb 

K-6: 30 books 

7-12: 15 books 

New South Wales T1 – 26 Feb 

K-6:  30 books 

7-12: 15 books 

Northern Territory T1 W6 - T3 W612 books 
Queensland T2 

K-2: 20 books 

3-4: 20 books 

5-9: 15 books 

South Australia T1 29 January – T3 6 September 12 books 
Tasmania T2 (end) 28 June – end of T3 TBA
Western Australia TBA 12 books 

Healthy Lunch Box Week (Australia): February 5th-11th

Healthy Lunch Box Week is a great opportunity to promote healthy eating habits among your students. To celebrate this week in the library, consider hosting a display of books and other materials on healthy eating. 

Safer Internet Day: February 7th 

Safer Internet Day is a global campaign to promote online safety and responsible internet use. You may consider organising a library session that focuses on online safety and responsible internet use. 
You can also read our blog from our Security Manager, Tony Parfitt who outlines the importance of keeping your library data secure

Lunar (Chinese) New Year: February 10th

Chinese New Year is a significant holiday that is celebrated in many countries around the world, in addition to China. One of the most colourful events on the global calendar, it is a time of celebration and tradition, marked by various customs and rituals. To celebrate this occasion, you could decorate the library in line with the theme of the Year of the Dragon and also showcase books and materials related to Chinese culture and traditions.

This could include works by Chinese children's authors, such as Grace Lin, who wrote “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon." This children's fantasy novel is set in ancient China and follows a young girl named Minli who embarks on a journey to find the Old Man of the Moon in order to change her family's fortunes. Along the way, Minli meets a cast of colourful characters and learns valuable lessons about perseverance, determination, and the importance of family and friends.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science: February 11th

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). To celebrate this day in the library, you may host a display of books and other materials on women and girls in STEM.

One book recommendation for this topic is "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly. This nonfiction book tells the true story of a group of African American women who made significant contributions to the space program at NASA during the 1960s, despite facing discrimination and segregation. The book highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields and serves as an inspiration for young girls and women interested in pursuing careers in these fields.

Library Lovers Day: February 14th

Library Lovers Day is a celebration of the joy of reading and the central role that libraries play in fostering a love of literature. To honour this special day, libraries may consider setting up a display of books that highlight the transformative power of reading. You could even set up a display of some of the educators' and students' favourite books. 

One book recommendation for this topic is "The Library Book" by Susan Orlean. This nonfiction book chronicles the history of libraries and the vital role they play in society, as well as the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library that destroyed or damaged over a million books. It is a celebration of the enduring importance of libraries and the value of preserving knowledge.

CBCA Book of the Year ‘Notables’ – February 20th

The CBCA Book of the Year 'Notables' is announced, recognising outstanding works in Australian children's literature. This event serves as a preliminary acknowledgment of notable contributions, setting the stage for the subsequent phases of the awards.

March 2024

School Clean-Up Day (Australia): March 3rd

Australia's School Clean Up Day is a great opportunity to inspire students to learn about the impact of rubbish on their local environment while playing an active role in their community. To celebrate this day in the library, consider hosting a display of books and other materials on environmental sustainability and litter prevention.

International Women's Day: March 8th

International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women on a global scale. To celebrate this day in the library, consider a showcase of books and other materials on the achievements and contributions of women, and perhaps even organising a book club or discussion group that focuses on this theme. You could also invite guest speakers who are women leaders or advocates to share their experiences and insights with your students. 

One book recommendation for this International Women's Day is "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls" by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. This book is a collection of 100 bedtime stories featuring the biographies of inspiring women from throughout history. It is a great way to introduce young readers to role models from a variety of fields and to inspire them to dream big and achieve their goals.

Cultural Diversity Week (Victoria): March 11th - 21st

Cultural Diversity Week is an annual event in Victoria that celebrates and reflects on the contributions of the state's multicultural communities. The theme for Cultural Diversity Week 2023 is "Our Past. Our Future: Celebrating and reflecting on the contributions of Victoria's multicultural communities." This theme encourages Victorians of all ages and backgrounds to consider the rich history of multiculturalism in the region and to celebrate its promising future. Visit Victoria’s Multicultural Commission website for more details.

St Patrick's Day: March 17th 

St Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated not just in Ireland, but around the world. Schools can celebrate this event in the library by hosting a reading event featuring Irish literature or hosting a craft activity where students can create their own St Patrick's Day decorations. Click on this link for some craft ideas. 

CBCA Book of the Year ‘Shortlist’: March 19th

The CBCA Book of the Year 'Shortlist' is revealed, narrowing down the field of exceptional Australian children's literature. This marks a crucial step in the awards process, generating anticipation and excitement as the literary community eagerly awaits the final winners.

World Storytelling Day: March 20th 

World Storytelling Day is a day to celebrate the art of storytelling and the power of oral tradition. Schools can celebrate this event in the library by hosting a storytelling session or by hosting a writing workshop where students can create their own stories.

World Poetry Day: March 21st 

World Poetry Day is a day to celebrate the art of poetry and the power of the written word. Schools can celebrate this event in the library by hosting a poetry reading event featuring work by famous poets or by hosting a workshop where students can create their own poems.

World Harmony Day: March 21st 

World Harmony Day celebrates Australia's cultural diversity and promotes inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone. 

One book you may wish to display to celebrate this day is "The Name Jar" by Yangsook Choi. This picture book tells the story of a young girl named Unhei who is starting a new school in America and is worried about fitting in because of her Korean name. With the help of her classmates, she learns to embrace her cultural identity and the value of diversity. It is a heartwarming story about friendship and acceptance.

Earth Hour School Day: March 22nd

Earth Hour School Day is an opportunity for schools to celebrate and raise awareness about environmental issues. Schools can celebrate this event in the library by hosting a reading event featuring literature on environmental topics or by hosting a workshop where students can learn about ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Get your school involved in this initiative by registering your school's involvement or downloading the free lesson plans and activities here. 

April 2024

International Children's Book Day: April 2nd 

On International Children's Book Day, the library could hold a book fair or book exchange, host a story time or book club for kids, or invite local authors or illustrators to come and speak to students about their work.

ANZAC Day: April 25th 

ANZAC Day is an important day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, commemorating the sacrifices made by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) during World War I. Celebrating ANZAC Day in the school library can provide students with an understanding of the historical events and sacrifices that shaped their country's history. The library can also help to promote a sense of national pride and respect for those who have served in the military. 

The library can provide resources such as books, videos, and other materials that can help students gain a deeper understanding of the ANZACs, their experiences and the impact of war on society. A book recommendation for ANZAC Day is "Anzac Biscuits" by Phil Cummings. This book tells the story of the traditional ANZAC biscuit and its connection to the ANZAC soldiers during World War I.  

We want to hear from you! 

Here at Softlink, we believe in promoting diversity, inclusion, and understanding. We've shared some special days that can be celebrated in the library and provided ideas for how to do so. Now, we want to hear from you! If you have any special days that you celebrate in your library, please share them with us by emailing communications@softlinkint.com. Let's continue to spread the message of inclusivity and understanding in our libraries together.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published January 2023 and has been updated for freshness, relevance, and accuracy in January 2024.