This Is Teen Read Week, Oct. 14 – 20

The only trouble with being a teen, besides just about everything, is that there’s a tendency to roll one’s eyes at things organized by adults with good intentions around your age group. Especially when the actual word “teen” is invoked people of that demographic tend to get a bit stroppy.

The problem, I think, is not so much the effort put into such things as the drastic differences within the age group – between 13 and 19 (middle school and college), a lot of changing and trying things on for size and growing out of things takes place. Most of it completely out of your control, or so it seems. And so older members may feel this teen stuff isn’t for them.

The good news is reading breaks all those boundaries.

All this to say a theme week kicks off today and continues through Oct. 20, called “It Came from the Library…Dare to Read for the Fun of It,” and it’s about celebrating reading for fun and taking advantage of the many forms of books and content offered at libraries – from ebooks to zines to graphic novels and old-fangled print versions.

Sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, the earnestly named Teen Read Week is now a teenager itself at 14. Libraries offer special events for teens to encourage reading and the use of library resources for fun, study and exposure to new worlds and ideas.

For parents, aunts, uncles, godparents, family friends, teachers and anyone else who has the great good fortune to spend time around humans of the teenage persuasion, the American Library Association reminds you that Teen Read Week is also an opportunity to let libraries, schools, booksellers, and other community organizations know how you feel about the need to support programs and services for teens.

There’s a forum, videos, a badge, a blog, event calendars and tons more resources and information on the Teen Read Week website.

What are/were the favorite books of your teen years?

What is Children’s Book Day?

Today is El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros, a day for sharing the joys of reading with children across cultures.

This celebration day was created by children’s author Pat Mora with founding partner Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. In recent years, the American Library Association and the Association for Library Services to Children have joined in to offer events, services and resources to support the founding goals: “Many Children, Many Cultures, Many Books.”

There are wonderful resources on the Día website for parents, children, teachers and librarians. (This website is in English.) There is a brochure (in English, Spanish and Chinese) recommending books for children from cultures around the world, which includes learn-to-read tips and other resources. Under the Celebramos tab, you’ll also find an interactive map to help you locate El Día de los Niños/Libros events in your area.

It’s National Library Week!

Friends of the blog know I’m a library geek, so it should come as no surprise that I’m thrilled to be recognizing National Library Week, which takes place April 8 – 14.

This is National Library Week’s 54th year, and the theme is “You belong @ your library.” Whether you’re as passionate about libraries as I am or haven’t set foot in your local since books went digital, this week offers a great excuse to visit and rediscover all the resources available there. (See calendar of activities below.) You’ll be amazed!

“The strength of libraries has always been the diversity of their collections and commitment to serving all people,” notes the American Library Association in its press release about National Library Week.

“Today’s libraries help level the playing field by making both print and digital information affordable, available and accessible to all people. Libraries provide cultural heritage and genealogical collections, materials in print and electronic formats, job-seeking resources, English as second language and citizenship classes, and many other creative and resourceful programs.”

Here’s what’ll be happening at many libraries across the country this week:

Tuesday, April 10 – National Library Workers Day
You may want to refrain from hugging your local librarian (unless you know her or him very well), but today is all about recognizing the valuable contributions made by your local library workers. In fact, at the NLWD website, there’s a lovely feature called Submit a Star, where you can honor your hometown librarians!

Wednesday, April 11 – National Bookmobile Day
Bookmobiles have meant the difference between literacy and illiteracy, enrichment and stagnation, in many far-flung communities where residents don’t live near or can’t access the library. Honor the efforts of these dedicated library volunteers today.

For more on bookmobiles, check out this NPR story, “The Final Chapter for a Trusty Bookmobile,” about a Vermont community’s efforts to keep the reading rolling.

Drop Everything and Read DayThursday, April 12 – National Drop Everything and Read Day and Support Teen Literature Day
How cool is it that there’s a day dedicated to putting aside everything else and encouraging families to read together in hopes that they’ll make it a regular habit? DEAR Day is sponsored by the National Education Association, the PTA and the Association for Library Service to Children, among many others.

The Young Adult Library Services Association is sponsoring events to promote teen literacy today, Support Teen Literature Day, and throughout the year. Find out how you can participate on the YALSA website.

Writing that inspired me this week:

“I followed her into the library. The pale light from our chamber below dissipated in the room, but I could still make out – my heart leapt at the sight – row after row, shelf above shelf, floor to ceiling, a city of books. Speck turned to me and asked, ‘Now, what shall we read first?’”
~ The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue