This is an important time of year for celebrating libraries and the role that they play supporting individuals and communities.
We’re currently in the midst of Get Online Week, inviting people to #Try1thing and improve their digital skills. While most libraries run regular sessions to support people learning how to take their first steps online, many of them use Get Online Week as an opportunity to promote these sessions - offering more tasters and shouting about the material available online free with your library card.
But not satisfied with that, Libraries Week is coming hot on its heels!
Libraries Week has a much wider remit. With its cry to “discover something new”, it reaches across all libraries: public, academic, in schools, prisons or businesses - and is a week long showcase of the best that libraries have to offer.
The idea is that libraries entice their regular users to look beyond their usual habits and discover something new, plus take the opportunity offered by a much louder noise being made nationally about libraries to invite people who have never visited, or who haven’t visited for a very long time, to go to their local library and see what is on offer.
Hundreds of libraries have registered with CILIP (who co-ordinate Libraries Week), and many are already publicising what they’ve got planned. This blog from Wakefield libraries lays out their plans for a wide range of activities, and Manchester libraries have a similarly wide ranging programme of events.
Norfolk libraries tweeted a link to a long list of activities in all of their libraries, and Lincolnshire libraries are inviting people to write their favourite things about libraries on leaves, which will be added to their #LibrariesWeek tree.
Search #LibrariesWeek on social media to find more ideas, and share your own plans or experiences using this same hashtag.
Luna Loves Library Day
On 5 October, Andersen Press are publishing the first ever picture book authored by the poet Joseph Coelho: Luna Loves Library Day - illustrated by Fiona Lumbers. To celebrate Libraries Week, you can download special A3 and A4 posters, activity sheets and graphics based on this beautiful new book. Visit the Libraries Week website to find all the resources available.
Libraries as Fun Palaces too
As a perfect curtain raiser for Libraries Week, Fun Palaces weekend takes place on 7-8 October.
Although some libraries can’t wait - as this blog post from Norfolk libraries shows, their plans start on Thursday 5 October!
During the weekend, there will be hundreds of free events across the UK as part of a campaign to celebrate culture in our communities. Hundreds of libraries take part (current estimate is that over 55% of Fun Palaces will take place in libraries this year) - check the map on the Fun Palaces website to see what is being planned.
Fun Palaces are community led, and examples from this year’s programme include: try the LEGO Quest challenge and give a pre-loved book a new lease of life at Chadderton Library Fun Palace, Oldham or paint, knit, crochet and craft poppies at Dersingham Library Palace, Norfolk.
Libraries: A World of Possibilities
Finally, don’t forget the London libraries festival: A World of Possibilities. This will take place during Libraries Week, and there is a programme of activities due to take place in all libraries across London. We’ll publish a blog post with more about this shortly.
So, no excuses - during the beginning of October, you will not be able to avoid hearing about the things going on in libraries. Here’s hoping the programmes planned result in libraries being filled with people and kickstart, or re-start, the library habit among them.