School Library Month – 7 Ways to Celebrate

April 2019 is School Library Month – the American Association of School Librarians’ celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April since 1985, school librarians have been hosting activities to help their school and local community celebrate the library – in particular the major role school library programs play in transforming learning. This is the month where your school library subscriptions come into their own.

The 2019 theme for School Library Month is Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library. That means students, educators, parents, from all walks of life. The library crosses all barriers and brings communities closer together.

Fostering a love of reading…

This year’s spokesperson is the New York Times bestselling author Dav Pilkey. Dav overcame dyslexia and ADHD as a child, going on to create award-winning books for children, including the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. Most significantly, the library played a significant role in Dav’s journey, as he discovered his love of reading through visiting the library with his mom.

You can share on your website, or screen in your library, a video from Dav on the importance of school libraries and reading.

Need some inspiration for School Library Month?

Here are some top tips for drawing in the crowds, and helping your library visitors celebrate School Library Month.

  1. Host a guest speaker. You could ask a local author to come in and talk about their books. Or, you might find someone who can bring alive a subject that students are currently studying.
  2. Use the ALA’s printable poster to promote School Library Month and your library’s events. Download here.]
  3. Hold a session on How to Spot Fake News. Ask students to evaluate websites using the IFLA’s graphic guide, and ask them to discuss their opinions, or even draw up their own guides.
  4. Use social media to share your ideas for celebrating School Library Month. You can upload pictures or videos to Twitter or Facebook showing events you’re hosting.
  5. Book clubs are a great way to get people together and share their experiences. And if you start them young, children will become used (if not addicted!) to these group activities.
  6. Host book tastings. Pick a book genre – mystery, graphic novels, memoirs, young adult fiction, you name it. It’s a great way to introduce readers to new material they might never have considered trying. Make your school library subscriptions really work for you.
  7. Connect students at your library with students at a different library, like pen pals. You can brainstorm the best ways to do this. Then, they can share their ideas about how they use their library, and create a graphic highlighting their different experiences.

You can find even more ideas on the ALA’s website.

#Ilovemylibrary

So, get pages turning, and people talking. This is your opportunity to promote your library and the wonderful work it does in your community. School library subscriptions are at the heart of our business, and we’d love for you to share with us examples of the events and initiatives you’ve hosted for School Library Month!

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Utilizing Makerspace in Your School Library

You’re more than likely familiar with the term Makerspace. This concept of a communal creative space is fast gaining in momentum, and the library is right at the heart of it.

So what’s behind the makerspace project?

Although the term’s familiar, it’s not immediately clear what it means. Makerspaces are spaces dedicated to hands-on activity, creating actual products. So makerspace activities will involve all kinds of materials and equipment, like cardboard and tape to design and make models, or computers and cameras to produce films or podcasts.

The idea behind all of this is to boost students’ creative thinking and problem solving, to become innovators. It’s a big deal in the education world, increasingly so.

So where does the school library come in?

Apart from making the physical space available for use as makerspace, the library is key to providing the resources to fuel all this creative thinking.

Let’s take some simple examples. Students are set the task of finding 10 things to make with a cardboard box – maybe simple, but a really fun and creative project. Or, building and racing magnetic cars. Producing a short animated film using Lego. Apart from some really productive collaborative efforts, what students also need here is resources to consult and help them expand their thinking. And that’s where school library subscriptions come in.

Looking through your favorite titles in your school library, you might find 3D World, How it Works, Popular Mechanics, or Woodsmith Magazine, and many more. There are a huge number of magazines available, all of which would provide no end of useful ideas in carrying out and fine tuning these projects.

How do I find out what resources are available?

WT Cox has created a list of Makerspace titles available. Not only that, we’re also able to offer RB Digital magazines amongst your school library subscriptions.

For younger children too, there’s all sorts of inspiration in subscriptions including Arts & Activities, Brainspace Magazine, Science & Children, and many others.

Click here to view a full list of top titles and resources available from WT Cox to help you build your collections.  

If you want to learn more about makerspaces and how your library fits in, there are many websites out there dedicated to makerspace resources. They’ll also help you figure out what you might need including school library subscriptions. You can find out more at

makerspaces.com or the OEDb’s Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces, to name but a few.

Last but not least

Right at the core of the makerspace movement is the importance of students learning how to draw on information in order to get creative and solve problems. And to do that, they need plenty of resources.

There are so many useful titles available for your library. It makes sense to incorporate these makerspace titles in your personalized pricing when building your school library subscriptions quote from us. Just contact us at sales@wtcox.com and we’ll be happy to help.

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10 Ways to Celebrate Dr Seuss Day

Read Across America Day, March 2, marks the birthday of Dr Seuss. Created by the National Education Association in 1998, this exciting event brings together young people and books, right across the United States. 

Read on to see how you can get involved:

It’s also an opportunity for the library to show off the range of resources it offers, and use these to bring young people in. The library plays a unique and central role in fostering a love of reading and learning. Its place is right at the very heart of the local community, for all the family.

So it’s time to celebrate the value of reading – and have some fun too. If you haven’t already got some ideas up your sleeve, here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of March 2. Follow these tips and use your school library subscriptions and resources to make it a truly memorable day for everyone involved.

1. Hold a story time – it may seem obvious but it’s always popular. Children love it, and you could encourage them to go to the shelves and choose a book for everyone to share in.

2. Host a book club or reading group. Put up posters announcing it, asking young people to send in their suggestions. Then, take a vote on the most popular choice. You could hold several sessions, for different age groups.

3. Use books and magazines to teach new skills. Choose a cookbook together, read some recipes and plan some meals or some cookie decorating. You could do the same thing for gardening or crafts.

4. Foster a love of nature. Find books and children’s magazines on wildlife, or on flowers and trees. Use these to build an exciting day out to go discover the real thing.

5. Research a subject. Whether it’s science, history or art, you name it, there’s something there to catch the imagination. Once you’ve sown a seed of interest, a lifetime’s passion could grow out of this.

6. Host a crafts session. Amongst your school library subscriptions you’re sure to find some useful resources to help this along its way. The library is about doing, as well as about reading and listening.

7. Is there a children’s author local to you? Ask them to come along to the library and read from one of their books. It’ll bring in the crowds.

8. Explore a new culture. There are a huge range of books and magazines on travel and foreign cultures. Losing yourselves in this imaginary world is the next best thing to getting on a plane to the real place.

9. Get creative with some drawing tables, or some music sessions. Involving children in activities together helps them learn to share, and to enjoy playing and learning together.

10. Make use of your library’s computers. Offer some early computer literacy classes, and give your local children a head start.

Need more ideas?

Take a look at the NEA’s Dr Seuss Day activity booklet. There’s also a handy classroom activity guide.

If you get it right, you’ll find young people of all ages return to the library year round, not just on Dr Seuss Day. And hopefully for life. That’s what Dr Seuss Day is all about – showing young people how reading opens exciting new doors to a wealth of interesting and fun activities.

Put your library subscriptions, books and resources to good use on Dr Seuss Day. Maybe you’ve got some great experiences from your library to share – if so, we’d love to hear from you! [insert link to email?]

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