Magazine article American Libraries

Celebrate @ Your Library [TM]

Magazine article American Libraries

Celebrate @ Your Library [TM]

Article excerpt

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday & African American History Month

* Schedule films and videos of Dr. King's activities throughout the day.

* Sponsor a "young adult table talk" around events and issues addressed by Dr. King. Encourage YA "table leaders" to guide the discussions to include current local and national issues of importance to the students, their families and their futures.

* Use this opportunity to share bibliographies of age-appropriate historical fiction, nonfiction and non-print resources.

* Sponsor a "young adult town meeting" featuring local young adults who have been honored or recognized for their community service. Gather input on how the library's resources can better support the community's information needs, especially in the area of human rights.

* Create a "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Experience" area with posters and written works of Dr. King, video and audio presentations with headphones, and age-appropriate bibliographies.

* Collaborate with government agencies and local community organizations to offer space in the library for celebratory events.

* Provide family story hours that feature selected stories on Dr. King. Provide children with Dr. King's photograph and bibliographies.

* Consider the impact of Dr. King's legacies on other ethnic and cultural communities, and include them in local programs and observances.


* Host a concert of African American music. The Chicago Public Library offered a series that combined readings and performances of gospel, blues and jazz. Or, offer a tribute to a single composer, such as Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington or W.C. Handy.

* Offer a program for families exploring African and African American contributions to science and culture. Set the mood by inviting attendees to wear something from an African or African American culture.

* Offer a taste of something special. The Metropolitan Library System (Oklahoma City) sponsored a Soul Food Luncheon featuring African American, Caribbean and African food.

Ask restaurants to donate their specialty. Hold a cooking demonstration. The Detroit Public Library offered cooking sessions on African American foods.

* Celebrate the creativity of contemporary African Americans. Invite nationally or locally known writers, musicians and other artists to participate in a series of programs. The Westchester (N.Y.) Library System held a Literary Tea, entitled 'Tea 2000: African American Writers & Readers,' in which famous authors and illustrators came together to discuss their works.

* Work with a local school or drama group to commission a short play written and produced by African Americans. Present the play at the library.

* Organize a festival of African and African American art, crafts and collectibles. Set up tables where local artists, crafts people and collectors can demonstrate or display their special interests. Offer workshops on African crafts. The Detroit Public Library offered an African mask-making session. Your local art guild, antiques club or college may be able to assist.


"Truth is proper and beautiful in all times and in all places. "--Frederick Douglass

* Work with a local TV or radio station to sponsor a "Black History Question of the Day" contest. Award books, videotapes and recordings featuring African Americans.

* Promote the library as a clearinghouse for information on events of interest to the African American community. Set up a dedicated location to highlight activities. Post notices of lectures, workshops, performances, radio and television programs of special interest.

* Extend a program experience by publishing a booklist. Encourage your audience to explore the library's resources with a listing printed conveniently on the back of a program flyer. …

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