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 Conferences.
Additional library promotional opportunities resources follow below, including dates for selected non-ALA events.
ALA Youth Media Awards - January at LibLearnX
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 LibLearnX
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.
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 4-10, 2021
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.
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 Library Outreach Day - Wednesday of National Library Week
National Library Outreach Day (formally National Bookmobile Day) celebrates library outreach and the dedicated library professionals who are meeting their patrons where they are. The event is sponsored by the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Service (ABOS), and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).
Money Smart Week® - April 10-17,2021
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 25–May 1, 2021
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.
Rainbow Book Month™ - June
Rainbow Book Month™ is a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, genderqueer, queer, intersex, agender, and asexual community.
Originally established in the early 1990s by The Publishing Triangle as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month, ALA assumed responsibility for the event in 2015. In 2020, the name of the celebration was changed from GLBT Book Month to Rainbow Book Month in coordination with the Rainbow Round Table's name change.
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 card. September was first so designated in 1988, as a continuation of a national campaign launched the previous year. Free promotional tools are available on the Library Card Sign-up Month page. (see Library Card Sign-Up Month History for names of prior Honorary Chairpersons/Spokespersons).
Banned Books Week - September 19-25, 2021
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.
TeenTober - October
TeenTober is a nationwide celebration hosted by libraries every October and aims to celebrate teens, promote year-round teen services and the innovative ways teen services helps teens learn new skills, and fuel their passions in and outside the library. TeenTober replaces YALSA’s previous Teen Read Week™ and Teen Tech Week™ celebrations, allowing libraries the flexibility to celebrate all types of literacies according to their library’s schedule. Library staff are encouraged to utilize this new celebration to advocate for and raise awareness of the importance of year-round teen services in libraries. Contact ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA, a division of ALA) with questions.
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. Contact ALA's United for Libraries with questions.
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, organized 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
Read Across America, a one-day special event from the National Education Association
Many other opportunities for focusing public relations events may be found in such guides as Chase's Calendar of Events.
Last updated: 2/2021