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Book lovers celebrate in April at the Merrimack library

Friday, April 11, 2014

These days, it doesn’t seem that a day goes by on the calendar that isn’t celebratory of something. Left Handers’ Day (Aug. 13), Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 20), National Pickle Day (Nov. 14) – it never ends!

April is a particularly special month to us at the library, however. It’s chock full of bookish celebrations that can be enjoyed by writers and readers everywhere.

First off, April is National Poetry Month. In 1996, the Academy of American Poets christened April as the time to highlight the impact poetry has had on our culture. Bookstores, libraries and schools all around the country host activities to inspire the poet in each of us. On April 24, it’s Poem in Your Pocket Day, where we’re encouraged to carry a poem that speaks to us in our pocket (and share it with one or many).

The day before, on April 23, one of the world’s most prestigious writers of verse is honored – William Shakespeare. The year 2014 marks the 450th year since his (supposed) day of birth. Saint Anselm’s University celebrates this day annually with students, faculty and alumni reading aloud all 154 of the Bard’s sonnets. Here in Merrimack, indulge your inner poet by visiting the teen area or children’s room to try some “Book Spine Poetry” or “Blackout Poetry.” Poets of all ages can show off their poetic talents using books right in the library. We hope to share these creations in the library and online for the month of April.

April has many celebrations dedicated toward youth reading, starting on April 2 with International Book Day. Celebrated in conjunction with Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, each year a different country hosts the celebration and honors a children’s author. This year, Ireland honors Siobhán Parkinson. In the U.S., we honor Beverly Cleary’s birthday April 12 with Drop Everything and Read Day, a reminder to make reading a priority.

Our littlest pre-readers (and their educators) are celebrated the week of April 6-12 for Week of the Young Child. Visit the library that week to see artwork by the students at Seed to Sprout School displayed in the Children’s Room. Older readers are not forgotten in April either: Teen Literature Day is celebrated on April 17 this year, and World Book Night is celebrated April 23.

School Library Month

Lastly, the reason I especially love to celebrate in April is that it’s a big month for libraries. All month long is School Library Month. If you’ve already brought an apple, or a note, or a drawing to your teacher, maybe this April you could do the same for your school librarian at Reeds Ferry, Thorntons Ferry, Mastricola Lower or Upper Elementary. Even your teen librarians at the middle school and high school would appreciate a thank you for all that they do.

Then, the week of April 13-19, stop by the Merrimack Public Library to celebrate National Library Week. On Thursday of that week (April 17 from 5-6:45 p.m.), the Friends of the Merrimack Public Library are hosting National Library Week celebration, an informal get-together for all ages featuring refreshments, free raffles and good company. 

At the end of the week, we have a celebration for the little ones: Meet Pete the Cat. Pete the Cat, star of the popular “self-titled” picture books, will visit the library on Saturday, April 19, from 10:30–11:15 a.m. We’ll read his stories, sing his groovy song, enjoy a craft and have time for hugs and photos with Pete himself.

Registration required

Registration is required for this program, via phone at 424-5021 or online at

Pete the Cat was voted the winner of the 2013 Ladybug Book award, giving it the distinction of being New Hampshire kids favorite picture book of the year. This is sure to be a popular program, so sign up ASAP.

Of course, when it comes to libraries and reading, we encourage you to celebrate year-round, with us – and with a good book.

Thanks for reading, and see you at the library.

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