March 1st may or may not be International Hug a Librarian Day. There’s some confusion online but librarians are too busy to keep up with fan clubs anyway. They don’t just find information, they also review, organize, assess, explain, figure out, calm small children, put up displays, run programs, read aloud, expand collections, apply laser-like focus to advance other people’s knowledge, and much more. Why limit librarian love to one day?
I have a chronic library habit myself. There are at least nine reasons to adore libraries and the professionals who make these places adoration-worthy, so we probably need a more than just a Hug A Librarian Day. Perhaps a commemorative week or month. I’m thinking year round.
Here are some ways to celebrate.
Vote yes for library levies.
Surprise your favorite librarian with a hand-written thank you note.
Start or join a book club. Many libraries offer meeting space, some offer book club collections of the same book bundled with discussion questions.
Bring flowers, good coffee beans, homemade cookies, or a tray of fresh fruit for your librarians to enjoy.
Join your branch’s “friends of the library” organization.
Blast away any librarian stereotypes you harbor by taking a peek at some librarian blogs like Miss Information, Librarian Avengers, The Lipstick Librarian, The Laughing Librarian, The Society for Librarians Who Say MF, and Your Librarian Hates You.
Start your own tiny library to benefit others.
Surprise your favorite librarian with a certificate for locally owned store, restaurant, or theater performance.
Keep an eye out for librarian characters (and inevitable stereotypes) in movies. Try these:
- Goodbye, Columbus
- Stephen King’s It
- The Name of the Rose
- The Mummy
- Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (kids)
- The Pagemaster (kids)
Attend library programs and give positive reviews afterwards.
Shape snacks that look like books out of fruit leather, honey, and chocolate.
Organize your own book collection into a lending library using book pockets and library cards, perhaps putting your stamp on each volume with a custom book embosser. Or use an all-in-one library kit. This is particularly fun for kids.
Do everything in your power to keep your library system well-funded, lest they be forced to accept advertising dollars to stay open.
Consider the possibility that you’re a Book Zombie.
Avoid saying the following to your librarian:
- Must be nice to sit around reading all day.
- You’re supposed to find me a job on the Internet, right?
- Do you volunteer here?
- I haven’t stepped in a library since ______.
- I hear that you will fill out my tax return.
- Libraries just aren’t the same without card catalogs.
- Have you read all the books here?
And if you know your librarian well enough, offer a hug.