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Combing the Stacks: Celebrating National Library Week

When was the last time you visited a library? Even though many of us rely more and more on ebooks these days, there’s something special about visiting a library in person and being surrounded by a seemingly endless supply of books, music, and movies.

Libraries have a lot to offer for children and teens. Beyond being able to check out a vast assortment of materials, public libraries also host educational events aimed at different age groups.

From April 23–29, 2023, you and your student can show your love for your local library during National Library Week!

What is National Library Week?

Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), National Library Week is an annual week of celebration that takes place in April. It focuses on highlighting the role that libraries, librarians, and library workers play in our communities. All types of libraries (school, public, university, special, etc.) are encouraged to take part in the event.

This week of observance has been happening every year since the 1950s! In 2023, the celebration is from April 23–29. The theme for this year is “There’s More to the Story.”

There are several individual days of celebration that take place during National Library Week:

How to celebrate National Library Week

There are tons of ways your student can take advantage of all the library has to offer. Here are some ideas for how different age groups can support their local library.

Grades K–4

National Library Week is the perfect time to foster a love of reading in your student. Picture books like “I Am Enough” by Grace Byers, classics like Beverly Cleary‘s rambunctious “Ramona” series, and books that explore real-world events like Brian Floca’s “Moonshot” make it easy to find something your primary school student will not be able to put down.

Want more suggestions? Just ask your librarian, and they will point you in the right direction.

Additionally, look into what types of events your library hosts for young readers. Storytime can be a great way to get your child excited about a new book, and they might even make some new friends in the process! Many libraries also have summer reading programs that make reading over the break fun.

Grades 5–8

Want to encourage your middle schooler to read more? Try experimenting with different formats. Ebooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels are all perfect ways to create a lifelong reader out of your middle schooler.

Authors like Jason Reynolds tackle real-life teen issues in titles such as “Look Both Ways,” Rick Riordan gives readers the perfect escape through his fantastical “Percy Jackson” series, and Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale of a young girl trying to connect with her mother’s Indian homeland through her graphic novel “Pashmina.”

Art workshops, after-school movie showings, and science events are also great ways for your middle schooler to interact with your local library.

Grades 9–12

YA literature has never been more available or popular! Whether your teenager is interested in stories that tackle life as a young adult, address world issues, or delve into rich fantasy worlds, your local library is sure to have a vast array of YA titles that will appeal to them. Some popular authors include John Green, Cassandra Clare, Neil Gaiman, Maggie Stiefvater and Angie Thomas.

For movies and shows that are adapted from books, try challenging your teen to read the book before watching. After you watch the movie or binge the show, you and your teen can discuss ways the adaptation differed from the written material.

Keep on the lookout for library events aimed towards high schoolers. This may include things like college prep seminars, art or photography workshops, or computer programming competitions.

At BASIS Charter Schools, we are encouraging students to visit their local library and get a card if they don’t currently have one. It’s a free pass to books of all kinds and gives you access to a plethora of different events. Best of all, many of the services your library provides in-person can also be enjoyed online.

Check out the latest news and resources from the BASIS Charter Schools network for more parenting tips and educational resources. Plus, read about more book-themed holidays coming up in September!

*Note: BASIS Charter Schools neither endorses nor sponsors the authors and titles represented in this article. The distribution of this material is provided as a community service.

Amy Licht
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