Library Shelfie Day is the fourth Wednesday in January
A holiday dedicated to spotlighting one’s love for books? What a novel idea! Known as Library Shelfie Day, on the fourth Wednesday of January you take a picture of your bookshelf or one at a library, with or without you in it, and post on social media with #LibraryShelfie. Get down with your book lovin’ self and get those “shelfies!”
History of Library Shelfie Day
The New York Public Library started this annual tradition of library selfies, or “shelfies,” several years back. Their exact definition for a library shelfie is, “A photograph that one has taken of oneself at a library, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam, and shared via social media. Library Shelfie Day is celebrated on the fourth Wednesday of January and began in 2014.”
The NYPL created Library Shelfie Day to give book lovers a means to promote their effervescent affection and passion for books. A love for the printed page is not a lowly liking. If you’re a book reader, it’s not some simple hobby. It’s a lifestyle. Books are the vehicles with which to journey into faraway fantastical networks of imagination, and libraries are the hubs of these travels.
History of Libraries
Libraries, or some variation of them, have been around for almost as long as humankind has been recording information. Archive keeping stretches back to ancient Egyptian and Babylonian times, with clay tablets comprising transcripts and texts. Ancient Greek temples contained collections of books and archive repositories, the most notable being from the Peripatetic school founded by the eminent philosopher Aristotle. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the French Revolution, libraries have endured a storied history.
Though a library’s intention has always been to educate and enlighten, there is more than one flavor of these tome establishments:
National libraries: a national or state library maintained by domestic resources, e.g., The Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and the British Library in London.
Private Libraries: owned by private individuals. Private collectors who amass specialized assortments of specific books
Public libraries: your run-of-the-mill local library, supported by federal, state, and local dollars
School libraries: libraries that serve as resource centers for students and teachers
University and research libraries: information centers covering a plethora of disciplines
How to Celebrate Library Shelfie Day
Take a picture in front of your bookshelf or at the library (PSA: don’t be a disruption!), and share it on social media! Tag your pics with #LibraryShelfie. Wrangle up your bookworm compadres and make it a group outing! Check with your local libraries and see how they’ll be celebrating Library Shelfie Day. And once you’re done taking pictures, check out an actual book! Pick it up, feel its weight, hold it close to your face and breathe it in. Do you smell that? That, my friend, is the smell of a whole new world. Step into it.