| By Gale Staff |
Sunday, April 23, is World Book Day! While technically landing on the weekend, there’s no reason you can’t use the worldwide momentum to kick off a whole week of activities worthy of the young readers in your community. While every day is World Book Day in our hearts, the United Nations established this specific holiday to focus on and celebrate the books we love.
Have you ever wondered about the history of books? Early cultures used tablets and scrolls to record their stories, but it was most likely the Romans (sometime between the 2nd and 4th centuries) who first mastered the idea of binding a stack of parchment together, allowing the reader to flip the pages and discover information on a single sheet. Fast forward through hundreds of years, through the invention of modern paper and the printing press, through famous writers like Charles Dickens, through innovations like Kindle and Libby, and it’s easy to feel inspired by the truly rich diversity and evolution of books.
Keep the Party Going All Week Long
As we mentioned before, April 23 lands on a Sunday this year, so most schools and public libraries won’t be open to celebrate on the actual day. Never fear! We’ve compiled a list of ideas you can use any day of the week to engage your readers on whatever day works best for your community.
Spread the Word
Does your library or school have a social media page? Use this platform throughout the week to post all kinds of fun facts about popular books and authors. Encourage your followers to comment with their book recommendations or favorite book characters of all time. Let’s get #WorldBookDay trending!
Host a Book Swap
Ask your young readers if they are willing to “swap” one of their books for a different one. Community members or students can bring these titles to the library and select a new one to read instead. Any leftover books can be donated to a charitable organization in your community.
Create Art From Book Recommendations
Invite your readers to participate in a collective art project. This can be as simple as a giant poster made from butcher paper. With markers, glitter, paint, or whatever you have lying around, encourage patrons and students to share their favorite book of all time. Have fun with it. Participants could simply write down the title or maybe sketch out a scene from the story. Then, you can display this poster all year round in honor of your community’s love of reading.
Learn More About Your Favorite Authors
Ask students to do some research on their favorite authors. After all, we wouldn’t have such a wonderfully abundant selection of stories without them. Participants can create one-sheet biographies featuring the author’s picture, major works, and why the student loves their writing. Sometimes, learning about the people behind the pen can be just as inspirational as the stories themselves. You can even hang their one-sheeters around the library.
Design a Scavenger Hunt for Book Lovers
Create a scavenger hunt to help your readers explore the library and find new titles to read. You can customize your clues or tasks to meet the needs of your students’ grade levels. There’s no need to start from scratch. The internet is an absolute treasure trove of fun ideas for a library-specific scavenger hunt. Tasks could include steps like, “Find the biggest book you can in the library” or “Check out a book about vampires.” Patrons who complete the scavenger hunt can win a prize (stickers, badges, bookmarks, or maybe a reduced library fine could all make fun prizes).
Dress Up as Your Favorite Character
Who cares if it isn’t Halloween? There’s nothing more fun than getting dressed up in costume. From Harry Potter to Peter Pan, the possibilities are endless. Make sure to take plenty of pictures to showcase on your social media page (and maybe even award a prize for the best costume).
Host an Author
Ask a local author to come to speak (or Skype in) at your library. Invite your patrons to join and hear first-hand what writing a book is like from start to finish. Attendees can ask questions and maybe even feel inspired to write a story of their own.
This list is only a drop in the bucket of fabulous ideas. For more information and helpful tips, you can visit the World Book Day holiday page.