February is Library Lover’s Month. Supporters around the world celebrate the importance of libraries and show their respect for librarians.
The month-long event is getting more and more popular every year. It’s dedicated to public and private libraries, and is aimed at recognizing their value to communities and nations.
Thanks to social media, library fans around the world can participate in spreading the love for libraries and library services. And all they need is access to the web.
Initiated by Friends and Foundations of California Libraries, and recognized by ALA (American Library Association), Library Lover’s Month is one of the best ways to highlight the importance of libraries, and discuss their future, possibilities and challenges.
How can a library supporter take part in Library Lover’s Month? You have the entire month to get involved!
Below, you will find several ideas that would let you share how libraries shaped you, and show the support for libraries.
Ways to celebrate Library Lover’s Month
Bring back the library-themed daily habits
If you are an avid library patron, you can skip this part.
If you stopped visiting your library some time ago, you may need a bit of encouragement to bring your love for libraries back.
Is the library card still in your pocket? If yes, you are on a good track. If not, try to find it. It must be somewhere at your home. Maybe you have used it as a bookmark?
How often do you pass a library in your neighborhood? Why not checking out its opening hours or learning about upcoming events? It will take you a few seconds, and you don’t even have to go inside.
Get a new library card… or cards
A famous quote by Eleanor Brown goes: “There is no problem that a library card can’t solve.”
There is no problem if you can’t find your old library card. You can always get a new one. And it will cost you nothing.
It’s quite possible that you have moved to a new place since the time you regularly visited your favorite library.
Do you know the location of the library in your new neighborhood? Why not going there and getting a library card?
What’s more, there is no need to limit yourself to just one library. The library in your closest neighborhood would be great for borrowing novels, while the city’s largest library would be the perfect place to strengthen your professional skills.
Why is it important to have a library card?
Here are just a few wise thoughts:
When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.– Rita Mae Brown
Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.– Marc Brown
The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of ALL human beings, and it is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance.– Libba Bray
There is no problem that a library card can’t solve.– Eleanor Brown
I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.– Laura Bush
A library card is a powerful weapon to change lives. With it, we learn how to value what we have, to mourn what we have lost and to dream of what we might become.– Val McDermid
A library card is the start of a lifelong adventure.– Lilian Jackson Braun
Visit your library’s website
The access to library catalogs, services, and resources is nowadays easier than ever before.
Most libraries maintain thriving websites, where you can find a calendar of upcoming events, a list of offered meetings and courses, and a catalog of offered publications.
Best of all, a growing number of libraries around the world offers publications in an electronic format: ebooks and audiobooks.
You may borrow an ebook right away from your library’s website and start reading it in minutes, using your e-reader, a book-reading application, or an audiobook player.
Find out whether your library offers ebooks
The most popular platform used by libraries to lend ebooks is OverDrive. More than 40,000 libraries and other institutions around the world are powered by that platform.
When you visit your library’s website, look for “ebooks” or “digital” section, or read details in the “about” tab.
If your local library still doesn’t offer ebooks, you can find another one in your town. It may turn out that you don’t even need to visit the branch in person to sign up for the card. You may apply online, via the library’s website.
Another way to locate libraries offering digital books and audiobooks is to go directly to a library search on OverDrive website and type in your location.
Get a library app to your smartphone or tablet
Once you find a library or libraries that offer digital content, you can get something to read or listen to instantly by using one of the apps that are designed to manage and enjoy library books.
Multiple apps are available for popular operating systems – Android and iOS – so it’s just a question of getting the one that is compatible with your library’s ebooks.
Libby is a next-generation book reading app, which is insanely simple and useful. It’s a combination of a book reader and audiobook player.
The app’s most outstanding feature is the ability to sign up with multiple library cards. For instance, you can use one card from your school library and the other one from the library system in your neighborhood.
Libby offers a unified catalog where your loans – from all connected libraries and in all supported formats – are displayed.
Other library apps that are worth checking out: OverDrive, Amazon Kindle, Hoopla Digital, Flipster, BorrowBox, and Sora.
Tip: Take a look at our popular list of library apps for iPhone and iPad.
Visit a library on the other side of the world – without leaving your home
Getting a library book via the website is extremely convenient, but nothing beats the thrill of going to a library in person.
Did you know Google Street View is being used not only outside but also inside buildings? Several institutions and businesses can use the advanced tool called Google Interior Tours.
Bookstores and libraries are most suitable for that. They offer the magic of being among the best of all friends: books. Being in such a place makes you want to read something now, or something more.
Being inside a library with Google Street View is something entirely different from seeing a still image. You can look around, move along the shelves, reach the section with your favorite category. And, yes, you can even read the book!
Still can’t believe it’s possible? Check out the libraries that you can visit with Google Maps.
Find inspiration in a February literary calendar
February is full of literary events. Each one of them makes a great prompt to visit a library or use a library service. Just check out what’s happening:
February 3 – Johannes Gutenberg’s birthday, 1468
A German goldsmith who invented a movable-type printing press, starting the Printing Revolution.
February 6 – Brontë sisters send their poems to a publisher, 1846
Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë published the book using the male pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
February 7 – Charles Dickens is born, 1812
Regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era. The author of A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist.
February 9 – Alice Walker’s birthday, 1944
The author of The Color Purple is the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.
February 9 – Read in the Bathtub Day
Reading a book while relaxing is the greatest enjoyment in life!
February 14 – International Book Giving Day
A worldwide volunteer initiative aimed at encouraging people to give a book to a child.
February 18 – Toni Morrison’s birthday, 1931
An American novelist and Nobel Prize laureate in Literature. The author of Beloved and Song of Solomon.
February 22 – The first commercial audiobook is recorded, 1952
The record included five poems by Dylan Thomas and his holiday story A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
February 28 – Lemony Snicket is born, 1970
Daniel Handler (pen name: Lemony Snicket) is best known for his children’s books A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Tip: Explore our list of monthly literary calendars for book and library lovers.
Show your support for libraries and librarians
The idea of Library Lover’s Month would not be so popular without social media. And it’s social media where you can instantly share your love for books and libraries.
On the web, you can find numerous posts and images that promote libraries and library services. We’ve been collecting the best library-themed content for years, and here are just a few lists you can check out:
The best quotes about libraries – these thought-provoking quotes come from classic authors and contemporary librarians, and they all have one thing in common: they talk about places and people deserving the most attention – libraries and librarians.
Vintage bookmobiles – rare retro photos of mobile libraries from round the world. Each of these bookmobiles has a story. A picture and a short text are ready to be shared on social media!
Quotes about libraries… in libraries – some of the most brilliant library quotes were visualized by Daniel Dalton, a writer and editor from Sydney, Australia. Each quote comes with a beautiful image of the library.
Funny cartoons about libraries – our ongoing collection of cartoons and comic strips presents the daily life of librarians and library patrons.
Modern libraries – when you think of a library, you see a classic room filled with heavy wooden bookshelves full of old manuscripts. On the other side, the libraries are evolving at an unprecedented pace, and this list shows the most remarkable examples.
Stunning images of classic and modern libraries – these mesmerizing photos by Thibaud Poirier show the beauty of reading rooms and describe what libraries are about. The perfect symmetry, wide angle, and attention to details in these photographs evoke a feeling of harmony, order, and better perspective.
Best infographics about libraries – this extensive list of infographics presents how libraries and librarians evolve to meet emerging needs of modern users.
Tip: Make sure to share the images and quotes with the relevant hashtags: #libraries #librariesmatter #librarylove #librarian
Learn and share fun facts about libraries
How many of these facts have you known before?
In the Harvard Library, there are three books suspected to be bound in human skin. The practice of binding books in human skin was not at all uncommon in the 15th century, and was done to commemorate the dead, among other reasons. ⇢ More info.
The library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt is the oldest currently operating in the world. It houses several unique texts, including the Syriac Sinaiticus and, until 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest known complete Bible dating back to around 345 CE. ⇢ More info.
The word library comes from Latin “liber” – the inner bark of trees. It was first used in written form in the 14th century. ⇢ More info.
Portuguese Library Biblioteca Joanina is home to a swarm of bats that feed on book-eating insects every night.Swarms of bats hide behind the rococo bookcases during the day, while at night they feast on book-damaging insects, helping preserve the over 300-year-old building and its rich cultural heritage. ⇢ More info.
There are “human libraries” around the world where you can check-out humans as a living book. Many of the people you can “lend” are those who the society tends to stigmatize the most – and they often prove that you truly cannot judge a book by its cover. ⇢ More info.
In some libraries you can check out animal skeletons, Santa suits, prom dresses, or dogs. Quite many libraries lend home improvement, maintenance, and gardening tools (to discover a tool lending library near you, click here), as well as various board games and toys. ⇢ More info.
Warsaw is the city with the biggest number of libraries per capita. Poland’s capital has a whopping 11.5 libraries per 100,000 citizens. Seoul and Brussels follow close behind, with 11 and 10 libraries per 100,000 inhabitants on average. ⇢ More info.
Librarians were once taught a special style of handwriting to ensure uniformity in catalogs. The handwriting style, called the “library hand,” was developed by Thomas Alva Edison in 1885. The style allowed librarians to “take legibly from the wire, longhand, forty-seven and even fifty-four words a minute”. ⇢ More info.
Tip: Here are other facts about books and libraries.
Learn about future library technologies and tools
The libraries are the entry points to the digital world. They are the way to embrace technology and avoid digital exclusion.
Therefore, to improve technological literacy of local communities, libraries should be equipped with relevant technologies. Check out the list of technologies that would be most suitable for libraries.
The list includes a book delivery drone, a clever digital bookmark and other accessories, a digital interface for print books, or a mobile library center.
Adjust your reading challenge to include libraries
How far are you with this year’s reading challenge? What about filling the February timeline with tasks related to libraries and librarians?
Here are a few proposals for library-themed reading challenge:
- A book with a librarian as one of the characters
- A book borrowed from your local library
- One of the top 10 checkouts of all time from the New York Public Library
- A book with a plot set on a campus with a library
- A memoir of a librarian
- A book with the word “library” in its title
- A book recommended by a librarian on Twitter
Show that you support libraries and librarians
There is no better way to share the love for libraries and librarians than wearing a simple t-shirt saying that you are a library supporter.
You can also show your support and say thank you to the librarian in your favorite library. You can buy a small gift, be it a mug, a notebook, or even a small magnet – anything that shows libraries and librarians matter more than ever before.
You will be surprised to discover there are more library-themed gifts and products than you could imagine.
Mark September in your calendar
September is Library Card Sign-up Month – another great time to stress the importance of libraries in the lives of modern book lovers.
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Keep exploring. Here are other posts and lists about libraries:
Book censorship in the 2021 by the numbers
– April 26, 2022
How to set up and organize a perfect home library (infographic)
– February 21, 2022
Quotes for library walls, inspired by retro book design
– January 21, 2022
The evolution of public libraries since 7th century BCE (infographic)
– November 19, 2021
28 best gifts for librarians and library lovers you can get in 2023
– September 6, 2021
Gifts for modern bookworms in 2023
Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.
Vintage composition notebook iPhone case
This unique, intensive, pseudo-marbling composition notebook pattern with a preworn label is available on the latest iPhone cases in several colors, including green, brown, and purple.
Compact and innovative reading light
From a German brand Nachteule comes a clever book light that you attach not to a book but your reading glasses. It’s so light that you can also clip it to your earphones or hair accessories! The built-in battery will let you read 200 pages.
Hands-free pillow stand – great for e-readers and print books
An improved version of a popular Lamicall tablet pillow comes now with a side pocket for a pen or small accessories. The grooves are deep enough to hold a print book. It’s made of durable materials and is available in five fashionable colors.