Find Inspiration for Your August Events

Posted by Susan Brackney

By the time August rolls around (and summer reading season finally starts to wind down!) you may be a little low on energy. That’s perfectly understandable. Nevertheless, the programming must go on! Here are some upcoming occasions to help inspire new library events and displays for August.

NATIONAL READ-A-ROMANCE MONTH—August is officially National Read-a-Romance Month and, possibly, your chance to hook some library patrons on a new-to-them genre. Grab their attention with a display of classic best-sellers, and mix in some historical, paranormal, and other romance sub-genres for extra variety.

You could also reach out to the Romance Writers of America Speakers’ Bureau to invite an author near you to visit the library for a special reading or how about a romance writing workshop?

HAPPINESS HAPPENS MONTHSponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People, August is also “Happiness Happens Month” and has been since 2000. According to the not-so-secret, secret society, “If you make happiness a habit for a month, it won’t be hard to make it a year-long attitude.”

Visit Happiness Happens Month for suggested ways to celebrate—like having a “Happy Expression Art Show,” featuring drawings, paintings, and other types of art work reflecting happiness and its causes. (Incidentally, August 8 is Happiness Happens Day, in case a full month of happiness seems like too much of a good thing.)

NATIONAL SCRABBLE CHAMPIONSHIP—The National Scrabble Championship takes place during the week of August 1–5, and live event coverage will be available. Why not host your own local Scrabble championship, including age categories and prizes, to coincide with the national event?

NATIONAL EXERCISE WITH YOUR CHILD WEEK—Encourage parents or guardians to get moving with their children during the week of August 2-8. To coincide with National Exercise with Your Child Week, you could host a special Zumba session at the library. Or how about simply jumping rope outside? You could hold a jump rope contest or, if you’ve got the local talent, maybe even an inspiring double Dutch demonstration.

NATIONAL AVIATION WEEK—August 15-21 marks National Aviation Week. (National Aviation Day is always August 19, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Orville Wright.) Consider displaying biographies of famous aviators, showcasing some model planes, or hosting a model-making or paper airplane folding workshop.

SPIDER-MAN DEBUT ANNIVERSARY—Hard to believe, but Spider-Man turns 53 this year! Bust out your graphic novels and remind readers that Marvel Comics introduced this webbed wonder on August 1, 1962.

NATIONAL S’MORES DAY—August 10 is National S’Mores Day. Said to have been popularized by the Girl Scouts, s’mores—made up of chocolate and marshmallows sandwiched between two graham crackers—are delicious with or without the addition of a campfire. Might as well have some indoor s’mores on hand for the big day.

CALLING ALL (SORTS OF) POETS—Poets (the good ones and the bad) are specially recognized in August. “Bad Poetry Day” is officially August 18, while the more innocuous “Poet’s Day” takes place on August 21. You could host some poetry readings or a poetry writing workshop—and whether the poetry encountered is breathtaking or breathtakingly bad is up to you.

NATIONAL DOG DAYNational Dog Day is August 26. How about partnering with your local animal shelter to bring some adoptable dogs to the library for a visit? You could also invite a local veterinarian or vet tech to present on basic canine health and safety or have an expert dog trainer in to offer some training tips and tricks.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY—Some real classics were born this month. Try celebrating both the old-school and contemporary authors with a “surprise party” display of gift wrapped “mystery” books, complete with hints about the contents inside.

• Herman Melville—August 1, 1819
• James Gleick—August 1, 1954
• James Baldwin—August 2, 1924
• Garrison Keillor—August 7, 1942
• Randy Shilts—August 8, 1951
• Joanna Coles—August 11, 1944
• Ann M. Martin—August 12, 1955
• Russell Baker—August 14, 1925
• Danielle Steel—August 14, 1947
• Julia Child—August 15, 1912
• Phyllis Stewart Schlafly—August 15, 1924
• Jonathan Franzen—August 17, 1959
• H.P. Lovecraft—August 20, 1890
• Dorothy Parker—August 22, 1893
• E. Annie Proulx—August 22, 1935
• Edgar Lee Masters—August 23, 1869
• Jorge Luis Borges—August 24, 1899
• Alexander McCall Smith—August 24, 1948
• Oscar Hijuelos—August 24, 1951
• John Green—August 24, 1977
• Martin Amis—August 25, 1949
• Frederick Forsyth—August 25, 1938
• Christopher Isherwood—August 26, 1904
• Julio Cortázar—August 26, 1914
• Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—August 28, 1749
• Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu—August 28, 1814
• Roger Tory Peterson—August 28, 1908
• Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.—August 29, 1809
• Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley—August 30, 1797


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