Hey 2020 is upon us - Happy New Year to everyone who lives under the Gregorian Calendar!
If you are feeling a bit fragile after the new year - I have your back! If you need some ideas for library activities for January and February that is! In January I celebrate Burns Night (for those who enjoy a bit of light Scottishness) and observe International Holocaust Memorial Day, this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz -Birkenau and the 25th anniversary of the Bosnian Genocide. With Antisemitism and Islamophobia on the rise around the world it is always worthwhile to show people where hatred, intolerance and prejudice can lead in the hope that it will never happen again.
February in the US is Black History Month,I have included several links to library activity ideas celebrating African-American & Black history and culture that I have put together over the past year. I hope to build on these over the years and include more ideas and resources as time goes by. In the UK February is LGBT History Month, in the past I have (with the permission of the authors) created posters to be used in displays celebrating LGBT British authors, they are available again this year.
January 1st is known as Public Domain day in a number of places, this year in the US works from 1924 will enter the US public domain, where they will be free for all to use and build upon, without permission or fee. Works in the public domain are perfectly legal to use in activities where library users can remix and adapt them to create their own works without fear of copyright infringement.
February 6th is the day on which Bloomsbury Children's books celebrates Harry Potter Book Night (https://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/harry-potter-book-night/), I have put together a wand-making workshop activity that will allow participants to create their own wand. After J.K. Rowling made her views on transgender rights known I thought long and hard about whether I should include it on the blog and newsletter but decided that I would, not in support of the author whose views I find reprehensible but for those who read Harry Potter and take away the message about love, acceptance and for standing up & fighting for what is right.
Burns Night Activity
For those folk not blessed with Scottish heritage or Scottish neighbours, Burns Night is a celebration of the National Poet of Scotland Robert Burns. Most libraries should at least have a book of verse by the great man and no real book on Scotland will fail to mention him. You can also incorporate celebrating Scotland into anything you do and show videos on haggis making, Highland Games highlights as well as reciting some of his poems, To a Mouse is always popular, as is Address to a Haggis but there are many others to choose from.
You could also incorporate a Scottish craft, form learning a basic Scottish jig to cutting out and dressing a crafty Scotsman (picture below)
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on the 27th January, this date marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
The day is to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen were African American pilots who fought in World War 2. They flew more than 15,000 individual sorties in Europe and North Africa during World War II. Their impressive performance earned them more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and helped encourage the eventual integration of the U.S. armed forces.
Junius G. Groves, the Potato King of the World Born into slavery on a plantation near Kentucky, Junius G. Groves was six years of age when slavery was abolished in the USA. 20 years later he joined the Exoduster movement and made his way to Kansas. In 1902 he became known as the Potato King of the World, for growing more bushels of potatoes per acre than anyone in the world up to that point in time.
African American Spies: from the American revolution to the 21st Century
From Harriet Tubman, better known for her work in helping escaped slaves find their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad and William A. Jackson – a slave in the Confederacy’s presidential household who provided invaluable information to his northern contacts to Josephine Baker a vaudeville star who was recruited into an all black dance troupe and went to Paris. In 1940 she became a spy for the French Resistance.
Anansi Craft Activity Anansi is an Akan folktale character. He often takes the shape of a spider and is considered to be the god of all knowledge of stories.
Ahead of Harry Potter Book Night on the 6th February 2020 I have been working on a special wand-making workshop that will enable participants to create their own wands.
The outer part of the wand is composed of a 10 inch (25.4 cm) stiff paper tube. I sourced the paper tubes from Target. Bamboo sticks or hollow wooden dowel rods can also be used if your budget stretches that far.
The wand end plugs are made from paper twisted into a cone that will fit into the ends of the wand and be glued in place.
Participants will be able to choose a phoenix feather, a strand of dragon heart-string, unicorn hair, woven sunlight or a combination of all of them to make up the core of their wand.
Once the wand-making apprentices have completed their wand they will receive a parchment certificate confirming that they have attended the workshop.
They will also receive a cardstock wand-holder emblazoned with the seals of the Hogwarts & Ilvermorny Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry to keep their wands safe. There is a space on the back of the wand holder to note down what is in the core as well as who made the wand.
The materials used in the workshop are:
The certificate is plain paper that has been soaked in a weak coffee solution (tea also works)
The wand holder is card-stock also soaked in a weak coffee solution.
I hope everyone has a great January, please feel free to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues who may find it interesting and please let me know if you have anything you would like to share in here or on the blog!
We got through 2019 together and we can take on 2020 standing shoulder to shoulder with each other- we library folk are organised and networked - have got this year!