Hot dates, perfume and a huntsman spider: wrapping up Library Lovers’ Day 2024

The LIS sector came alive last Tuesday for one of our most celebratory events, Library Lovers’ Day. Libraries around the country took to social media to share their festive displays, special events and competitions. We saw everything from library love letters, to dress up competitions, to video reels of library staff living and breathing their library love just by doing their thang. All of this is to say… when it comes to libraries, the love is ever-present.

Photos above (L to R): Library Lovers' Day displays by Blacktown City Libraries, Brisbane Libraries, Canberra Institute of Technology Library, and a street library

Photos above (L to R): Library Lovers' Day videos from Libraries Tasmania, Mount GambierLibrary, and State Library of NSW. View the videos by clicking on the 'play' icons above

What celebration of love is complete without a date? Libraries ACT, Blacktown City Libraries (NSW), St Pius X College Library (NSW) and Leopold Library (VIC) were some of the locations that arranged blind dates with a book or speed book dating for visitors to enjoy throughout the week, while CSIRO Publishing put forward four hot candidates from their collection of non-fiction books on flora and fauna.

Authors weren’t shy about their affection either, with author meet-up events at Sunshine Coast Libraries (QLD) and Goulburn Mulwaree Library (NSW), giving fans an opportunity to learn more about the authors they love, at their beloved local library. A lovely message from Aura Parker, author of this year’s NSS book Bowerbird Blues, also noted libraries as places of stories and discovery, and a personal refuge. The ALIA team eagerly await our date with Aura on 22 May for NSS.

A particularly sweet gift from Geelong Regional Libraries (VIC) to their community was an evening that paired classic and contemporary novels with fragrances by Lore Perfumery. Marylin Monroe was said to have worn the perfume Chanel No. 5 to bed and while perfume may not be for every library lover, every library lover certainly takes books to bed.

The celebrations momentarily came to a halt when a ‘huge’ huntsman spider made an appearance among the shelves at the State Library of NSW. Truly advocating libraries as a safe space for all, one librarian promptly rescued the arachnid and safely released it outside, to the relief of visitors. Love is never without its dramas. 

Delving deeper into the important work of libraries, Senator Sue Lines, Speaker Milton Dick MP, Co-chairs Anne Stanley MP and Senator Slade Brockman, and Parliamentary Librarian Steven Fox highlighted the resources at the Parliamentary Library not only for the work of Parliamentarians and their staff, but also for public knowledge and engagement with the political history of Australia. Australia Reads amplified their calls for a reading nation and underscored libraries as core infrastructure to this aim. The ALIA Green Group championed libraries and library staff as heroes of sustainability, highlighting the ways libraries contribute to community wellbeing and quality of life in a time of financial pressure.

Photos above (L to R): Library Lovers' Day videos from the Parliamentary Library of Australia. View the videos by clicking on the 'play' icons above

Friends from outer shores of the continental and library world sent their library love. The Library & Information Association New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) hailed their library love by acknowledging the value of library spaces and skilled staff, while the Library of Congress called for a month-long celebration. University of Lagos took it to the next level with a lively concert, dance competition, games, and food. Library suppliers Caval, hoopla, Libero and SCIS flaunted the most-loved aspects of their work which ranged from the enriching resources distributed to libraries, to working with others who aligned with a passion for written works and the joy it brings to society.

Photos above (L to R): Messages of library love from CAVAL, Libero, and Schools Catalogue Information Service (SCIS)

Photos above (L to R): Karsyn, Susan, Stephanie, and Andi from the hoopla Digital team sharing the love on Library Lovers Day; a highlight reel of the Library Lovers' Day concert held at University of Lagos, view the video by clicking on the 'play' icon above

With or without an annual theme, it’s clear love for libraries is always top of mind during Library Lovers’ Day, and the enthusiasm for libraries is unwavering. We thank all who took part in Library Lovers’ Day, from hosting an event to adding your ‘heart’ to a fellow library lovers’ social post, the day would not be a such a success without your contributions. The creativity and energy of libraries and librarians are far beyond what can be captured in this blog, so we invite you to visit ALIA’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and X accounts, or search ‘Library Lovers’ Day’ on any of these platforms to view the celebrations of the many institutions who took part. Finally, as always, we invite you to share the library love.