Civic Awareness Month

September is Civic Awareness Month! As the International City/County Management Association notes, the month-long celebration “reminds us of the importance of cultivating an informed, involved citizenry that can work in partnership with its local government.”

Many public libraries have fostering civic engagement and social responsibility in their mission statements, and many offer programs that go beyond offering meeting room space. Here are a few examples:

Celebrate National Bookmobile Day

2011 National Bookmobile Day flyer

Audrey Niffenegger wants you to celebrate National Bookmobile Day on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

Anniversaries in 2011

At our very productive Midwinter meetings, the ALA Public Programs Office’s Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee discussed putting together a list of anniversaries in 2011 that librarians could use to plan programming around. I offered to work on this, and the result is this calendar of important dates that could lend themselves to author programs, film programs, panel discussions, and much more.

New for March at EDSITEment

March capers in like a lamb this year, along with a number of resources from the EDSITEment program at National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit EDSITEment for insights into a number of important historical moments and figures that will be featured this month. Join in our national celebration of women’s contributions to American and world history, honor Poet laureate Robert Frost on his March birthday, and turn to Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address for guidance through our own turbulent times.

New for February at EDSITEment

This month, join EDSITEment in celebrating the Chinese New Year, recognizing Black History Month, highlighting the twentieth-century Presidents, and exploring the Salem Witch Trials.

Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation

February 1861. Abraham Lincoln has been elected the sixteenth President of the United States. Seven states have seceded from the Union. Representatives from the seceding states gather in Montgomery, Alabama, where they frame and adopt a constitution for their new government. Jefferson Davis is elected President of the Confederacy. Within the next two months, Lincoln will be inaugurated.

New for January at EDSITEment

This month, check out EDSITEment’s new look and sign up for a free webinar tour of the improved site. In addition, you can celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.; mark the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address; take a look at saints, relics, and devotion in Medieval Europe; and discover Middle Eastern history, religion, and culture.

Financial Planning @ your library

According to a recent poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, saving money was the third most popular New Year’s resolution. Libraries are trying to make this goal easier to reach.

With the assistance of grants, the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country are helping library users pinch a few extra pennies this year.


Many of us have spent countless Sunday evenings engrossed in a great plot, gorgeous costumes, evocative settings, and witty dialogue—in short, watching MASTERPIECE on PBS. It’s the longest-running, most-honored drama series on primetime television—known for its high-quality adaptations of classic works by authors such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Eliot, and James as well as more contemporary literature and mysteries.


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