These opportunities are available for free unless otherwise noted. Descriptions are provided by host organizations.
National Poetry Month
April (repeats annually)
Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month is a special occasion that celebrates poets’ integral role in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives. Thanks in part to our National Poetry Month partners and sponsors, each April the Academy is able to offer activities, initiatives, and resources so that anyone can join the celebration. For more information, visit the event website.
School Library Month School Libraries
April (repeats annually)
School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. First celebrated in 1985 (as School Library Media Month; the name was changed to School Library Month in 2010), every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student’s educational career. For more information visit the event website.
Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R)
April (repeats annually)
D.E.A.R. stands for “Drop Everything and Read,” a national month-long celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives. You may remember that Beverly Cleary wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Since then, “Drop Everything and Read” programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Mrs. Cleary’s birthday. We figured, why not “drop” the “day” and celebrate our beloved author, her timeless stories, and the joy of reading for the full month. So, “drop” by this website all month long in April and anytime you want to make reading a priority! D.E.A.R. is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA); Parent Teacher Association (PTA); ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of the American Library Association); Reading Rockets; The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC); the American Press Institute; First Book; HarperCollins Children’s Books; Read Kiddo Read; Walden Media and Ramona Quimby. For more information, visit the Reading Rockets event page.
Money Smart Week®
April 15-21, 2023
The American Library Association (ALA) joined in a partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to make Money Smart Week® @ your library a national initiative, which was first held April 2-9, 2011. Celebrating its 15th year in 2016 (and its sixth as a national ALA initiative), Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country including businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media. These groups come together once a year to stress the importance of financial literacy, inform consumers about where they can get help and provide free educational seminars and activities throughout the week. Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first time home buying to estate planning. For more information, visit the event website.
National Library Week
April 23-29, 2023
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries—school, public, academic and special—participate. This year’s theme, “There’s More to the Story,” is shared with National Library Week. Contact ALA’s American Association of School Librarians (AASL, a division of ALA) with questions. For information about this year’s theme, days celebrated during the week, and free tools visit the event website.
Children’s Day/Book Day – El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día)
Children’s Day/Book Day, also known as El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día), is a celebration of children, families, and reading and held annually on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for every child regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Through several grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC, a division of ALA) continues to increase public awareness of the event in libraries throughout the country. ALSC is collaborating on this effort with the Founding Partner of Día, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA). Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925. Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. In 1996, nationally acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy to found El día de los niños/El día de los libros. For more information, visit the event website.
El 30 de abril es una fecha muy significativa para los niños. Se celebra el día de los niños y de los libros. Esta celebración se conoce como El día de los niños/ El día de los libros, y celebra la alegría y las maravillas de la infancia y la importancia de los libros en nuestra vida. Póngase en contacto REFORMA con preguntas.
Library Journal Day of Dialog 2023 Spring
May 4, 2023
For more than two decades, Library Journal’s Day of Dialog has been the most anticipated librarian-only gathering of the year. Now it’s gone digital and is free to attend! The next all-day event is scheduled for May 4, 2023 and will feature a close-up look at the biggest forthcoming books for summer/fall 2023. For more information, visit the event website.
CLELCON Call for Proposals
Deadline: June 10, 2023
The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) is seeking presenters for the 2023 Virtual Conference, scheduled for September 21-22, 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM. This virtual conference offers two different opportunities to share your knowledge and experience: Break Out Session Presenters and Discussion Facilitators. All presentations will be delivered live virtually via Hopin. Presentations and discussions will be 50 minutes long. Examples of topics are available via the proposal application. Major areas of focus include Early Literacy Foundations, Early Literacy Leadership, and News in this field. Break Out Session Presenters will prepare and lead a virtual presentation related to the field of early literacy. Discussion Facilitators will lead a casual sharing of knowledge and resources while helping build connections. Proposals will be accepted April 3 – June 10 and applicants will be notified by July 31st. For more information, visit the conference website.
These tools are available for free unless otherwise noted. Descriptions are provided by host organizations.
Star Wars Origami
The author of Origami Yoda, Tom Angleberger, shows you how to fold easy Star Wars origami! For more information, visit the Angelberger’s YouTube playlist.
The Story Starter, Jr.
The Story Starter Jr. provides 274,400 story starters for kids and was selected as one of the Top 101 Websites for Writers by Writer’s Digest Magazine in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017! For more information, visit the program website.
Stories from Texas
Stories from Texas are written for and recorded for the Texas Standard radio program. They’re written by W.F Strong and edited for broadcast by Texas Standard producers.Texas Standard airs Monday through Friday on more than 20 public radio stations across Texas. Texas Standard is hosted by David Brown, and infrequently by Laura Rice from KUT Radio in Austin, and Lauren Silverman from KERA Radio in Dallas. For more information, visit the podcast directory.
Need more support?
Wish you had access to a repository of all the tools that have been featured in the monthly Youth Services Updates? Check out our Resource Archive for more information.
In addition, be sure to peruse our Training Catalog for webinars that focus on Youth Services. Our holdings are constantly updated, so check back often.