Literary holidays to celebrate all year long (and the books to read during them)

Each year, our calendars are loaded with days earmarked for celebrating birthdays, national holidays, and anniversaries. These are all wonderful, of course, but we prefer our holidays to have a bit of a literary twist. There are countless literary holidays you can choose to celebrate at the library but to make this a manageable list, we’re going to highlight our favorites here along with some books and collections you can use to celebrate. Time to set some calendar reminders!

literary holidaysJanuary 18: Winnie the Pooh Day

Everybody’s favorite tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff has been around for ninety years and we celebrate Winnie, Tigger and the whole gang each January 18th, author A.A. Milne’s birthday. Find a collection of stories from the Hundred Acre Wood and a nice tree to read under.


February 1: Harry Potter Book Night

The Boy Who Lived is always popular with readers but who doesn’t love a Hogwarts party? If you visit this website from Bloomsbury, you’ll find a downloadable event kit and lots of ideas perfect for decking out your place in the various house colors. Readers old and young alike will love getting lost in the magic of J.K. Rowling’s world.


February 3: Take Your Child to the Library Day

Naturally we want you to consider libraries your home away from home. There is so much goodness going on at libraries daily, and Take Your Child to the Library Day is a great time to see all those wonderful programs available.


March 2: Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’s Birthday)

Oh, The places you’ll go! We couldn’t make a list of literary holidays and leave out the good doctor. Schools and libraries near and far celebrate the classic books by Dr. Seuss on this day (and all year). You can do the same!


April 9-15: National Library Week

This is a week that’s well known in the library world but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t highlight it! This full week of celebrations feature days specifically for discussing the most frequently challenged books of last year (Monday), National Library Workers (Tuesday), and even Bookmobiles (Wednesday)! Pick a book that includes librarians or takes place in the library as a fun/informative read.


April 30: El Dia de los Ninos (Children’s Book Day)

El Dia de los Ninos kicks off Children’s Book Week and we can think of no better way than highlighting some of the amazing bilingual works of Pat Mora who has won countless awards for her children’s literature.


May 4: Star Wars Day

May the fourth be with you! The Star Wars universe continues to expand and capture the imaginations of fans around the world. Checking out the books is a perfect way to for fans, young and old, to connect with their inner Jedi.


June is LGBTQ+ Book Month and Audiobook Appreciation Month

The full month of June offers the opportunity to pick up some of the incredible LGBTQ+ titles out there. Plus, it also happens to be Audiobook Appreciation Month! The choices in June are nearly limitless.


June 19: Garfield the Cat Day

Yep, everyone’s favorite lasagna loving cat has his own holiday. Pick up a collection of the comic strip and prevent a case of the Mondays.


July 18-23: Hemingway Days

Ernest Hemingway loved Key West and every July, you’ll find a week-long party there in his honor. They host readings, book signings, look-alike contests and much more. You may not be able to make it to Key West, but you can still be a part of the celebration by checking out his books.


August 9: Book Lovers day

Technically this is every day for us but still a day worth pointing out.


September 18: Read an eBook Day

Join us in celebrating this special day of the year and check OMNI (Online Media of Northern Illinois), one of our largest collections of e-materials, through OverDrive.


October 6: Mad Hatter Day

A very mary un-birthday to you! Throw a tea party and indulge in a little nonsense. We may never know why a raven is like a writing desk, but that doesn’t make the riddle any less magical.


October: 9-15 Teen Read Week

Young adult novels are loved by readers in their teens and those well beyond. Spend a week celebrating your favorite heroines, trilogies, love triangles and dystopian worlds. Odds are in your favor that you’ll find an old favorite or a new obsession.


November: National Novel Writing Month

NANOWRIMO is the time of year when professional and aspiring authors do their best to write a full novel in one month. It’s become a way for writers to bond and test themselves and it has spawned many bestselling novels including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Pick up some of these books or write one of your own!

These are just a few of the great literary holidays we’ll be celebrating. What are some of your favorites?

By Adam Sockel, January 4, 2018, first appearing on OverDrive Blogs

Happy New Year from the Moline Public Library!

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Fingers crossed that 2018 will be a good one!

Let’s all resolve to read more, watch more and learn more this year. Stopping by the library would be a good place to start… starting tomorrow, when we are actually open.

Merry Christmas!

The Moline Public Library is closed today (we’re off celebrating the holidays in the style of the mid-19th century, as all good librarians do) but we’ll be back tomorrow for our normal operating hours.

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2016 Moline Library Christmas Party*

Here’s hoping that your holidays have been happy and that your New Year looks promising indeed!

*Okay, it’s actually a would cut by Winslow Homer from 1858 called The Christmas Tree.

Welcome to the new Moline Public Library website!

Our gift to you this holiday season?

A brand new website to explore and use!

Pop on over to the new and take a look. Hopefully you like it as much as we do, but if you have any questions, or even suggestions (it is still a work in progress in spots), don’t hesitate to let us know.

New Site

What Would Charles Dickens Think About Christmas Today?

Christmas Carol

Christopher Plummer and Dan Stevens in The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)/Photo by Kerry Brown © Garlands Films DAC

Having written a number of books that do their best to re-create the personae of some of history’s larger-than-life figures – George Washington, Andrew Carnegie, and William Mulholland among them – I am often asked to speculate on how these giants might behave if thrust into a contemporary setting. It is always pure fancy, wondering if Carnegie might have sound business advice for Donald Trump, for instance, but then again the very reason for examining history in the first place is that we just might learn something from a considered look in the rear-view mirror.

I was asked recently to theorize about what Charles Dickens might think of what Christmas has become today, given the reach of his slender but ubiquitous novel of 1843, A Christmas Carol. That oft-mimicked book has been referred to as the one most widely read, after the Holy Bible, and is inarguably the novel most often adapted into film and stage play. It is hard to imagine Christmas without a reference to Scrooge or Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future are surely the most widely known literary spirits outside of Shakespeare.

Quite frankly, I suspect Dickens would be appalled at the neo-bacchanalian overtones that now color the two-month-long “Christmas season.” He lived long enough to witness the profound effect of his “little book” upon what was a second-tier holiday at the time of its printing, but even at the time of his passing in 1870, there was nothing like the frenzy of advertising and emphasis on gift-giving, dress-up, and party-going that begins in the United States on November 1, give or take. While Dickens was a great holiday booster and eager celebrant in his own right, his intent in writing A Christmas Carol had almost nothing to do with the practice of gift giving; the novel is, at its heart, all about the possibility of spiritual redemption. Dickens’s “experiment,” if you will, was to examine the circumstances under which the most hardhearted individual might be forced into a plausible shifting of shape.

There are very few references to gift-giving in A Christmas Carol. Of course a revivified Scrooge sends a prize turkey to the Cratchit family and promises clerk Bob a raise, and there is a moment during one of the spirit visits where a father arrives on Christmas Eve with presents for the household’s children, but the unrelenting business of the novel is the search for the key to Scrooge’s heart and a change in his behavior toward others.

With all this in mind, one might wonder if Dickens would change anything about his classic in order that it speak more forcefully to the modern world. I suspect that Dickens would probably want to try, for even in his own day he was convinced that he could outdo Carol – and, in fact, wrote four follow-up Christmas tales, none of which are widely known today. While his themes remain basically intact, he was never able to replicate a character as captivating as Scrooge, nor a plot as focused, inventive, and convincing.

Few writers labor under the misconception that their works have the power to “change the world,” and I doubt that Dickens would find himself at fault for the fact that Ignorance and Want (touchingly portrayed by waifs in A Christmas Carol) have not yet been stamped out in our twenty-first century. But I do think that he would be highly gratified to discover that his book has not only survived but, for all intents and purposes, become the secular counterpart to the story upon which the very concept of Christmas is based.

That the book endures so powerfully one-hundred-seventy-five years after its writing is proof of Dickens’s success. Even in a coldly rational modern world that has witnessed atrocities unimaginable in Dickens’s day, families gather annually to read or to watch A Christmas Carol and are inevitably persuaded that it is possible for the human heart to prevail, for charity to contradict greed, that love connects us all, and that such connection can triumph even over death. Whole philosophies and systems of religion endeavor to achieve as much.

Editor’s Note:

Les Standiford is the author of the critically acclaimed Last Train to Paradise, Meet You in Hell, Washington BurningThe Man Who Invented Christmas, and more. Recipient of the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, he is Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami. Here, he shares his thoughts on how Charles Dickens would view today’s Christmas.

Learn Your Library Resources – NEW Circulating Board & Card Games Collection

Just in time for those long holiday breaks!

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The new board game collection, funded by the Friends of the Moline Library, is now available for check-out!

More than 25 games, ranging from Pit to Sorry to Settlers of Catan, are located on the 2nd floor at the end of the reference collection shelving area, on the opposite side of the older newspapers. Games check out for 3 weeks and are “holdable.” You can even search our catalog to see what games are available – use the word “games” as a keyword and then limit the results to “3-D object” as the format.

Contact the reference desk at (309) 524-2470 with any questions.