Events are in chronological order.
ALA's offices and divisions sponsor a variety of library promotions throughout the year that libraries of all types all across the country can get involved with to promote libraries and create awareness of library issues. Check out the links below to see how you can bring these promotions to your library. The oldest of these events is National Library Week.
See the list of ALA Upcoming Annual Conferences & Midwinter Meetings.
Additional library promotional opportunities resources follow below, including dates for selected non-ALA events.
Do not hesitate to find out about the programs and activities being held at your own local public library. For example, Library Snapshot Day is determined by individual libraries across the country, can occur on any day of the year. See further details and contact the ALA Office for Library Advocacy with questions.
ALA Youth Media Awards - January at the ALA Midwinter Meeting
Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards (YMA), which include the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, do guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children's and young adult literature and media. The award announcements are made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, usually on the Monday morning of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Award presentations will be made at the ALA Annual Conference. See the ALA YMA Press Kit for reporter contacts on the YMA announcement.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration - January at the ALA Midwinter Meeting
MLK Sunrise Celebrations at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meetings are sponsored by ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table, and the Black Caucus of the ALA. The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration commemorates Dr. King's legacy and recognizes the connection between his life's work and the library world. Featured readings include selected passages from the works of Dr. King.
Teen Tech Week - (currently being re-envisioned by the YALSA board)
Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and videogames. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries' nonprint resources for education and recreation, and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology. Teen Tech Week began in 2007 and has a general theme of Get Connected @ your library. Contact ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA, a division of ALA) with questions.
Freedom of Information Day - on or around March 16
Freedom of Information (FOI) Day is an annual event on or near March 16, the birthday of James Madison, who is widely regarded as the Father of the Constitution and as the foremost advocate for openness in government. Each year, the James Madison Award and the Eileen Cooke State & Local Madison Award are presented by the American Library Association Washington (DC) Office on Freedom of Information Day to recognize those individuals or groups that have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public's right to know.
School Library Month - April
School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. First celebrated in 1985 (as School Library Media Month; the name was changed to School Library Month in 2010), every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career. Shares the theme of National Library Week. Contact ALA's American Association of School Librarians (AASL, a division of ALA) with questions.
D.E.A.R - Drop Everything and Read - April 12
D.E.A.R. stands for "Drop Everything and Read," a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. You may remember that Beverly Cleary wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Since then, "Drop Everything and Read" programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Mrs. Cleary’s birthday. We figured, why not "drop" the "day" and celebrate our beloved author, her timeless stories, and the joy of reading for the full month. So, "drop" by this website all month long in April and anytime you want to make reading a priority! D.E.A.R. is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA); Parent Teacher Association (PTA); ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of the American Library Association}; Reading Rockets; The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC); the American Press Institute; First Book; HarperCollins Children’s Books; Read Kiddo Read; Walden Media and Ramona Quimby.
National Library Week - April 19-25, 2020
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries -- school, public, academic and special -- participate. For previous honorary chairpersons and event themes, see National Library Week History.
Future National Library Week dates are on the National Library Week/School Library Month Fact Sheet.
National Library Workers Day - Tuesday of National Library Week
The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), the organization for the advancement of library employees, annually sponsors National Library Workers Day, which falls on the Tuesday of National Library Week. First celebrated in 2004, the purpose is to recognize all library workers, including librarians, support staff and others who make library service possible every day.
National Bookmobile Day - Wednesday of National Library Week
First celebrated in 2010 by the American Library Association Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Service (ABOS), and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL). National Bookmobile Day is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.
Money Smart Week® - April (dates not yet announced)
The American Library Association (ALA) joined in a partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to make Money Smart Week® @ your library a national initiative, which was first held April 2-9, 2011. Celebrating its 15th year in 2016 (and its sixth as a national ALA initiative), Money Smart Week® - http://www.moneysmartweek.org - is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country including businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media. These groups come together once a year to stress the importance of financial literacy, inform consumers about where they can get help and provide free educational seminars and activities throughout the week. Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first time home buying to estate planning. The effort was created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002.
Preservation Week - April 26 - May 2, 2020
Preservation Week, first observed by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) in 2010, offers an opportunity to celebrate collecting and preservation in your community, and to highlight your institution as a source of preservation information.
Children's Day/Book Day, also known as El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día), is a celebration of children, families, and reading and held annually on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for every child regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Through several grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ALA's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA) continues to increase public awareness of the event in libraries throughout the country. ALSC is collaborating on this effort with the Founding Partner of Día, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA). Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925. Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. In 1996, nationally acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy to found El día de los niños/El día de los libros.
El 30 de abril es una fecha muy significativa para los niños. Se celebra el día de los niños y de los libros. Esta celebración se conoce como El día de los niños/ El día de los libros, y celebra la alegría y las maravillas de la infancia y la importancia de los libros en nuestra vida. Póngase en contacto REFORMA con preguntas.
Choose Privacy Week - May 1-7
Choose Privacy Week, first observed by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) in 2010, is an initiative that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. The campaign gives libraries the tools they need to educate and engage users, and gives citizens the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy.
The American Library Association, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), the District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA) and the Special Libraries Association (SLA) sponsor National Library Legislative Day.
Virtual Library Legislative Day
Virtual Library Legislative Day is part of the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Library Legislative Day, held each spring in Washington, D.C. Virtual Library Legislative Day activities will be held throughout the same week in the spring, and will be an opportunity for all library advocates to make their voices heard on a national level. Library advocates who cannot make it to Capitol Hill for the event can be a part of the effort.
GLBT Book Month™ - June
Starting in 2015, the American Library Association marked GLBT Book Month™, a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Originally established in the early 1990s by The Publishing Triangle as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month, June 2015 marked the first commemoration of GLBT Book Month™ to be held under ALA’s auspices. GLBT Book Month™ is an initiative of the American Library Association, and is coordinated through its Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. To help libraries mark the occasion, ALA has launched the GLBT Book Month online resource center, featuring tipsheets and downloadable materials. Contact ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services with questions.
Created to increase the recognition of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender writing. Begun in 1992 by The Publishing Triangle, June was selected in honor of the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riot in New York City. It was this brave resistance to police harassment that kickstarted the gay pride movement in the US. [Description provided by Chase's Calendar of Events.] To be celebrated by libraries, bookstores, publishers and bibliophiles everywhere. Read about the event's creation yet bittersweet success from quotes by Lawrence Schimel (labeling it National LGBT Book Month) in this May 30, 2014 HuffPost Gay Voices article by Julie R. Enszer.
Library Card Sign-up Month - September
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month - a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that the most important school supply of all is @ your library® - it's your library card. September was first so designated in 1988, as a continuation of a national campaign launched the previous year. The name of the 2016 Honorary Chairperson as well as free promotional tools (PSA, banners for use with social media, etc) featuring the 2016 Honorary Chairperson will be available at the official page, September is Library Card Sign-up Month (see Library Card Sign-Up Month History for names of prior Honorary Chairpersons/Spokespersons).
Banned Books Week - September 22-28, 2019; September 27 - October 3, 2020
Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read since 1982, is observed the last week of September. Each year, librarians, booksellers, teachers and countless others take this opportunity to highlight the importance of intellectual freedom and remind us not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. Contact ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) with questions.
Banned Websites Awareness Day - Wednesday of Banned Books Week
In an extension of the observance of Banned Books Week, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) designated Wednesday, September 28, 2011, as the first annual Banned Websites Awareness Day. By doing so, it's AASL's hope to bring attention to the overly aggressive filtering of educational and social websites used by students and educators. Contact ALA's American Association of School Librarians (AASL, a division of ALA) with questions.
Teen Read Week - (currently being re-envisioned by the YALSA board)
A national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association that is aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers and other concerned adults. Teen Read Week was started in 1998. The continuing message of the Teen Read Week initiative is to encourage 12-18 year olds to "Read For The Fun Of It". Each year an annual theme allows YALSA to focus on timely topics and teen interests. Teen Read Week is celebrated the same week as Columbus Day every year. Contact ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA, a division of ALA) with questions.
National Friends of Libraries Week - October 20-26, 2019
Friends of Libraries groups now have their very own national week of celebration, courtesy of United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (a division of ALA). National Friends of Libraries Week offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends – promoting the group in the community, raising awareness and increasing membership and also giving libraries and boards of trustees the opportunity to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library. See press release dated October 12, 2015, United for Libraries to coordinate National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 18-24, which reveals:
Contact ALA's United for Libraries with questions.
International Games Week (formerly International Games Day) - November 3-9, 2019
ALA's National Gaming Day, first celebrated in 2008, focuses on the social and recreational side of gaming. Gaming at the library encourages patrons of all ages to interact with diverse peers, share their expertise and develop new strategies for gaming and learning. At the library, kids can socialize with their friends and play board and video games while surrounded by books, librarians and a real world of knowledge. In 2017, the celebration was changed from a day to an entire week.
Picture Book Month - November
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) will celebrate the picture book during the month of November as a partner of the third annual Picture Book Month. Founded by author and storyteller Dianne de Las Casas, Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book in an increasingly digital age. Contact Picture Book Month with questions.
Children's Book Week was relocated from November to May by the Children's Book Council
International Literacy Day, sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
National Poetry Month, sponsored by Academy of American Poets
National Young Readers Week of the BOOK IT! - Pizza Hut national reading incentive program (formerly National Young Readers Day)
Read Across America, a one-day special event from the National Education Association
Return the Borrowed Books Week, an annual celebration for the first full week of March, created by the late Al Kaelin of the Inter-Global Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Cartoonists; his 2006 obituary in the Pasadena Star-News explained: "His 3rd grade teacher at Holy Cross School, Sister Geraldine, then Librarian at St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson, Arizona, asked Al to start Return the Borrowed Books Week in 1953. The week has been celebrated nationally, since." The event continues to appear in the annual Chase’s Calendar of Events publication; most recently on page 164 of Chase’s Calendar of Events 2016 (for March 6-12, 2016) -- “To remind you to make room for those precious old volumes that will be returned to you by cleaning out all that worthless trash that your friends are waiting for.”
Many other opportunities for focusing public relations events may be found in such guides as Chase's Calendar of Events.
Also, consider using calendar web sites to create a full schedule of events, such as the 2016 all-Holidays and Observances Online Calendar available from timeanddate.com (scroll down to the Holidays and Observances box in the middle of the page).
LibrarySparks magazine has a monthly feature of a calendar showing the various "months" or "days" that might be celebrated by a library or school library media center which is duplicated on its website. There are interesting facts, riddles, and suggested readings activities woven in.
Last updated: June 2019