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 ten 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.
Savor quotes from your favorite books by copying them onto a plate or mug, hand printing them on a scarf, or writing them on a shirt using a bleach pen.
Read This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.
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.
Read Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian.
Check out books that have been challenged or banned.
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.
Or heck, volunteer to help your library run an Edible Book Festival. Check out images from the Seattle festival and an international festival.
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.
Make easy felt book covers , a more complex quilted composition book cover, or even try bookbinding.
Consider the possibility that you’re a Book Zombie.
When traveling, make a point of visiting libraries. For incentive, check out images of inspiring church libraries and public libraries.
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?
Read librarian-centered books to kids such as Librarian on the Roof! A True Story, The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians, and The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq.
And if you know your librarian well enough, offer a hug.
4 thoughts on “Celebrate Hug Your Librarian Day”
Love our librarians at Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach, especially the kids floor librarians. Didn’t know about Hug you Librarian Day, happy to know about it. Love to visit local libraries while on vacation.
Another good book about a librarian is: The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai.
I enjoyed The Borrower. Thanks for mentioning it.
The libraries in my area (and the blessings of interlibrary loan) have let us homeschool practically for free, liberated me to do research for writing projects using academic databases, and filled our lives with richness beyond compare.
Great post Laura. I moved to this small town 7 years ago and I was delighted with the library which has not only all the expected but also cozy stuffed chairs in front of a gas fiire, a little hallway art gallery for local artits, a couple of tables where you can have coffee , tea or got chocolate … and best of all, librarians who know the library visitors so well that I’ve had phone calls from them to say, “Someone donated a whole box of horse books that are going on our FREE shelf, do you want to send your girls down to pick through them? They give us free space for our writer’s group to meet and called me last week that again, someone had donated a book that they thought I might like and did I want them to hold it for me…I make chocolate chip cookies for them from time to time but I love the fruit plate idea. Come to think of it, in the summer there’s an ice cream kiosk that opens kitty corner across the street, I think this year I’ll get some gift certificates… Thank you for your suggestions!
Your library sounds fantastic!