The National Libraries Day Steering Group is asking the public how they would like to see the unique role of libraries and librarians celebrated.
National Libraries Day took place on Saturday 04 February 2012 with over 400 events taking place in public libraries across the UK. Early consultation has shown that there is a great appetite for the opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the library and information professionals community. What is also clear is that people want it to be even bigger, even better and even more inclusive.
A popular idea has been to extend National Libraries Day to National Libraries Week. This would allow those libraries that do not open at the weekend, such as school and higher education libraries, to get involved and to celebrate all the wonderful work that they do.
2012 was a fantastic chance to highlight the importance of public libraries. In 2013 we want to take this even further and to celebrate the value of our libraries and librarians and information professionals. This is a chance to say a big thank you to those in the profession, to shine a spotlight on all the great work that they are doing and in as positive a way as possible to advocate to decision-makers the reason that librarians and information professionals are vital to our communities and wider society.
There was a lot of mixed feeling about hosting National Libraries Day in early February and we would like to know what you think.
Some loved having it in February as a chance to begin the year with a celebration. Others worried that attendance would be higher in the summer months. One early suggestion has been to move the event to June or July to accommodate this.
June or July would also allow for the much-loved Libraries Change Lives Award to act as a sort of ‘closing ceremony’ for the celebrations. Over the past 21 years the Libraries Change Lives Award has highlighted to the public, press and politicians the amazing work going on in a diverse range of settings, from working with dementia patients, to providing musical inspiration to school children. We know that Libraries Change Lives, this is a chance to show how.
CILIP President, Phil Bradley said: “National Libraries Day 2012 made me even prouder than ever to be a part of the library and information sector. It was amazing to see so many people come out and support their libraries.
We have been spurred on by the overwhelming support we received to dare to be even bolder. After the success of National Libraries Day 2012, now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what worked, what did not and to look to the future. This is not just about what National Libraries Day (or Week) would look like in 2013, but thanks to the support of our peers and the public, we are considering what the celebrations could look like in 2014, 2015 and far-beyond.
I thank everybody who has contributed their views so far and look forward to hearing from others.”
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Aaron Hussey, Communication and Campaigns Manager
The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
Notes to the Editor:
National Libraries Steering Group
The National Libraries Day Steering Group is made up of The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, The Reading Agency, The Society of Chief Librarians and The School Library Association.