Calendar of Reading Events

Below are a list of annual literacy and reading related events, with details, where available, of approximate dates when they take place each year



LGBT History Month

The overall aim of LGBT History month is to promote equality and diversity. In our libraries through books and other resources we can increase the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) people, their history, lives and their experiences=

National Storytelling week

Coordinated by the Society for Storytelling, this takes place annually usually during the first week of February. 


World Book Day

World Book Day takes place the first Thursday in March and is the biggest annual celebration of books and reading in the UK and Ireland. Special £1 books are produced and all Primary School children and any PreSchool and Secondary School children whose schools have registered with the scheme receive a free £1 book token. The website is packed full of useful ideas and resources that librarians can use all year round

World Storytelling Day

World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and on the autumn equinox in the southern. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night


International Children’s Book Day

Held every year on or around 2nd April  to commemorate the birth of Hans Christian Anderson who was born on this day in 1805, International Children’s  Book Day is coordinated by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) as part of their regular schedule of activities to promote children’s reading and international awareness through children’s books. IBBY branches in a number of countries arrange events to mark the day.


National Share-a-Story Month

This is organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups to celebrate the power of story telling and story sharing. Each year there is a specific theme


Empathy Day

The first ever Empathy Day was launched on June 13th 2017 to highlight empathy’s importance in our divided world, and the power of stories to develop it. 

Refugee Week

Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. The site has a comprehensive list of fiction resources on human rights themes and the plight of refugees


Summer Reading Challenge

This event (launched in 1999) aims to encourage children aged 4 – 12 to visit their local public libraries to maintain their reading over the school summer holidays.


Roald Dahl Day
Held on the 13th September this annual celebration of Roald Dahl’s life and work was first held in 2006 to mark what would have been his 90th birthday. Roald Dahl Day includes special events, activities and a Roald Dahl Day Challenge

European Day of Languages

 The European Day of Languages (EDL), a Council of Europe initiative, is held annually on 26 September to celebrate linguistic diversity, plurilingualism and lifelong language learning. The EDL was first celebrated in 2001.

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week was initiated by the American Library Association (ALA) in 1982 in response to an increasing number of challenges in the US to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Banned Books Week UK is a week long celebration of the freedom to read

International Translation Day

Celebrated every year usually on 30 September on the feast of St Jerome the Bible translator who is considered the patron saint of translators.  The celebrations have been promoted by FIT (the International Federation of Translators) ever since it was set up in 1953. A great opportunity for school libraries celebrate with some of our favourite translated children’s books?


Black History Month (UK)

The aims are to promote a knowledge of Black history, culture and heritage, to disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British society and to heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people to their cultural heritage.

International School Library Month

Started by the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) in 1999 as International School Library Day. In 2008, the event expanded to cover the whole month of October, with schools being invited to take part for a day, a week or even the whole month.

National Poetry Day

Since 1994 National Poetry Day has engaged millions of people with poetry through a range of live events and web-based activities for people throughout the country. Such a variety of poetry is written and read that each year the day is given a new theme, in order to highlight particular poets and styles of poetry.

Dyslexia Awareness Week

Usually held in the first week of October this is an annual event aimed to further understanding of Dyslexia

Libraries Week

Libraries Week, held mid October, is a nation-wide celebration of libraries, librarians and library staff in all sectors. A chance to showcase all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that UK libraries have to offer.


National Non-Fiction November

This is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual.  Originally it was just a day – National Non-Fiction Day – but now the whole month of November is dedicated to all those readers that have a passion for information and facts in an attempt to bring the importance of non- fiction in line with fiction


(Updated by Denise Reed 24th September 2018)

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