We have been having unusually warm weather. No doubt the cold will come soon enough. Here is a quick bulletin board for January. Use a precut border and a scarf, some mittens and a hat. The words are: Warm up with a book. Then, display winter and snowy books on the shelf below the board. Here are 10 more display and passive program ideas for your library:
National Hobby Month
National Hobby Month happens every January, just as the new year starts. Everyone has a hobby or interest, or something they enjoy doing in their leisure time. Open up the new year with this national month celebration and see if there’s something that might interest your patrons. Ask your patrons to share their hobbies through programming about photography, scrapbooking, stamp-collecting and any other hobby-related topics. Display books about activities that could turn into someone’s hobby.
National Science Fiction Day (January 2)
January 2nd is celebrated across the United States by thousands of science fiction fans. The date of January 2 was chosen as an “unofficial” national holiday as it corresponds with the birthdate of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. Display Asimov’s books along with those written by Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke.
Jacob Grimm’s Birthday (January 4, 1785)
On this day, the older of the two Grimm brothers, Jacob is born in Hanau, Germany. His brother Wilhelm is born the following year. As young men, the two brothers assisted some friends with research for an important collection of folk lyrics. One of the authors, impressed by the brothers’ work, suggested they publish some of the oral folktales they’d collected. The collection appeared as Children’s and Household Tales, later known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, in several volumes between 1812 and 1822. Display your fairy tale books in the children’s section with a poster noting Jacob Grimm’s birthday.
Crazy Horse Fights His Final Battle (January 8, 1877)
Outnumbered, low on ammunition, and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves, Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana. The System Office has 28 copies of the book Crazy Horse by Mari Sandoz. Why not borrow them and have your book club read this title in January.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 16, 2017)
Although Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, the federal holiday has been celebrated on the third Monday in January by Presidential Proclamation since 1986. Display your books and DVDs about the civil rights era along with biographies of Dr. King.
A.A. Milne’s Birthday (January 18, 1882)
The creator of Winnie-the-Pooh is born on this day. He later fathered one son named Christopher Robin. His child received a stuffed bear as a gift as well as other similar toys. Milne was inspired to write a series of whimsical stories about the toys. Gather all your Winnie-the-Pooh books, DVDs, puppets, and stuffed toys to display in your children’s area.
National Popcorn Day (January 19, 2017)
Popcorn, also known as popping corn, is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. This snack is usually served salted or sweetened. In North America, it is traditionally served salted, often with butter. However, sweetened versions, such as caramel corn and kettle corn, are also commonly available. Beyond food, popcorn is sometimes used as decoration, or even as cheap packaging material! Celebrate Popcorn Day by offering all your patrons a bag of freshly popped corn. No one can resist this fragrant treat.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Birthday (January 19, 1809)
On this day in 1809, poet, author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts. Both of Poe’s parents died by the time he was three years old. As an adult he became known for his dark horror stories and he also had the reputation as the father of the modern detective story. The death of his wife drove Poe deep into alcoholism and drug abuse. He died at the age of 40. Display a small poster about Edgar Allan Poe in the stacks near his books and short stories.
National Handwriting Day (January 23)
National Handwriting Day was created on the birthday of Declaration of Independence signer John Hancock. Celebrate by encouraging children to practice their penmanship. Prepare some handwriting sheets with copies of John Hancock’s signature and have your patrons try to recreate it.
Zane Grey’s Birthday (January 31, 1872)
Zane Grey, American dentist and prolific author of tales of the Old West, was born at Zanesville, OH. Grey wrote more than 80 books that were translated into many languages and sold more than 10 million copies. Display books and audiobooks by this popular author. Prepare a bookmark with all of his titles. (see http://zgws.org/) Be ready to request the books that you don’t have through interlibrary loan.
Bonus: Nebraska History
On January 1, 1863, a farmer named Daniel Freeman submits the first claim under the new Homestead Act for a property near Beatrice, Nebraska.
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