While this title is a nod to the snow currently falling outside my window, I’m actually referring to the swirl we find ourselves in at this time of year. While we all have important days and events to recognize all year, for us February seems to be a special kind of flurry. Like you, we are usually selective about what we can manage in terms of promotion and program, but this month seems unique in its bounty of non-negotiables:
Entire month = Black History Month
Feb 1 = Lunar New Year
(Feb 1-5 Placeholder for provincial library conference)
Feb 14 = Valentine’s Day
(Feb 17-21 Placeholder for mid-term break)
Feb 20-26 = Freedom to Read Week (the Canadian Banned Books week)
Feb 23 = Pink Shirt Day
So in the shortest month of the year, we have 2 significant cultural events to acknowledge and celebrate; a week when it’s critical and timely to recognize how fortunate we are to get to choose what we wish to read; an important anti-bullying initiative; and a holiday that’s just fun to mark with crafts & treats; all while accomodating some staff absence for conference participation and break. The goal is to do it all with meaning, hopefully informing and advocating along the way without too much overlap and competing attention.
While this encompasses all parts of library programs & services, here is our plan for our physical space:
- Main hallway display and front entrance display marking BHM alll month, adjusting as needed to promote specific activities planned by our Black Student Alliance
- Main in-library display highlighting titles related to Lunar New Year for 2 weeks; replaced by romance books for Valentine’s Day
- Tinker table (our low-tech makerspace) will feature supplies for Valentine’s Day, then shift to button-making for Pink Shirt Day
- We’ll roll out a bookcat display for Freedom to Read week (with caution tape and heavy locks for dramatic effect) and post our popular giant banned books poster near the entrance
Is your February full of similar challenge and opportunity? Or are you similarly blessed at a different time of year?
Absolutely, I concur that February is the month to bring your A-game with displays, programming, and other activities. It’s quite a balance to ensure you give each special day (and BHM for the entirety of the month) its gravitas. It offers a challenge, sure, but also opens the door for creativity, an opportunity to hit the ground running for 28 days (or 29, in a couple of years’ time). Let’s hear it for February!
Oops – my colleague just reminded me of I Read Canadian, which has also been an annual event falling in February – except that the organizers must realize how busy the month is, because they recently moved it to November!