This is the last day of National Library Week 2009 and it could be Wisconsin Library Heritage Day. At the meeting of the Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center on February 19th, I floated the idea of establishing a Wisconsin Library Heritage Day to be celebrated on the Saturday of National Library Week each year. My rationale was that in addition to promoting a better understanding and appreciation for Wisconsin’s library heritage, Wisconsin Library Heritage Day would provide an additional avenue for marketing Wisconsin’s libraries at the local and state levels. It would tie in well with the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries and the National Library Week campaign. It could initiate a buildup to the 120th anniversary of WLA in 2011.
Some ideas for celebrating National Library Day at the local level include:
- Hold a birthday party for the library.
- Host a display of historical artifacts related to library history at the local, state, or national level.
- Work with the local post office to create a pictorial postmark related to the library’s anniversary. Create a souvenir envelope to go with the postmark and include an insert with the history of the library.
- Create or expand a section of the library’s website devoted to the history of the library.
- Cooperate with local library historical societies to promote activities and events.
- Invite an impersonator of a national, state, or local library figure in the past to perform a skit. Possibilities: Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Melvil Dewey, or Lutie Stearns.
- Get local actors to reenact a pivotal meeting in the formation or early history of the library.
The WLHC Steering Committee didn’t receive the idea of a Wisconsin Library Heritage Day with open arms but they didn’t turn it down outright. We will continue to explore the idea for 2010. What are your thoughts on such a day and let us know if you have other ideas for celebrating Library Heritage Day.