International Special Librarians Day is celebrated annually on April 13. Traditionally, it’s held on the Thursday of National Library Week, which is generally the second full week in April. It’s a day that pays tribute to the unique contributions made by information professionals by promoting their important roles in the global information community. It encourages them to promote the services they provide to their users, clients, and management within their companies as well as to external communities.
History of International Special Librarians Day
For any organization to succeed, they need services that provide them with easy access to decision-ready data, trusted market intelligence, as well as efficient collection and sharing of data, to name a few. Information professionals bring all these to the table. They’re trained in knowledge management, information research, and data analysis and presentation. They should know your company’s mission and market. Information professionals work in such roles as intranet managers, librarians, information specialists, knowledge managers, and research analysts. Others work in physical libraries or information centers. Many are part of research and development, market research, or strategic planning teams.
The “Special Libraries Association” (SLA) is a non-profit global organization for innovative information professionals and their partners in government, business, academic, and other particular settings. The SLA Board of Directors created International Special Librarian Day. Along with the SLA, it’s also sponsored by “Factiva.” The event’s continued growth empowered information professionals to showcase their services and resources through a range of activities using materials provided by the SLA.
In 2007, 17 years after its establishment, the “SLA Public Relations Advisory Council” sought to create an alternative event to recognize and showcase the specialized skills as well as the value that information professionals bring to an enterprise. They found out that most executives didn’t realize that their resident information professional or special librarian provided added value by protecting their company from litigation or scandal. It was only too late that information ethics were given any attention. To remedy this, a new and more informative day of education would be needed. Information Ethics Day replaced ISLD and was formally launched during SLA’s Centennial Celebration.
International Special Librarians Day timeline
The “Special Librarians Association” is established by a group of 20 librarians who meet at the “Mt. Washington Hotel” in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.
Batgirl— a.k.a. Dr. Barbara Gordon — Ph.D. in Library Science and head of Gotham Public Library appears on TV.
The “SLA Public Relations Advisory Council” takes this time to assess the day’s effectiveness in educating the public about special librarians and information professionals.
The SLA’s centennial celebration is replaced by Information Ethics Day.
International Special Librarians Day FAQs
What is an information professional?
Also called information specialists, they record, collect, preserve, retrieve, store, and disseminate printed or digital information.
Who are core information professionals?
These can include librarians, chief information officers, web developers, knowledge managers, information consultants, and brokers.
What are the roles of information professionals working in a digital library?
They are engaged in the design and application of information technology initiatives in cooperation with computer and information scientists.
International Special Librarians Day Activities
Visit a library
In today’s online-focused world, many people probably haven't been to one since their school days. Browse through your local library — you may find some interesting reading material as well as make a new librarian friend.
Buy a coffee for a librarian
Sorting through tons of information can get boring. Whether it’s the lady who works at the public library or the IT officer in your company, give them a free coffee to perk them up for the job at hand.
Watch librarians on the big screen
This often-overlooked profession has its share of representation in cinema. Films like “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Party Girl,” and “The Time Machine” have librarian characters who show the same tenacity and diligence as their real-life professional counterparts.
5 Of The Most Stunning Libraries In The U.S.
“Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library”
Located at “Yale University,” the building is made of granite, glass, bronze, and Vermont marble that’s so fine it lends a soft golden glow to the interior.
“Boston Public Library”
Designed after a Renaissance cloister, it also houses rare works of art and extravagant decor, with an opulent coffered ceiling in one of its large reading rooms.
“George Peabody Library”
Its dramatic interior showcases huge skylights to allow natural light, soaring ceilings, and five stories of balconies with ornate cast-iron railings.
"Library of Congress"
The world’s largest library features hand-carved sculptures and painted decorations made by more than 50 American artists as well as housing the iconic ‘Main Reading Room' in its “Thomas Jefferson Building.”
“New York Public Library”
It has three archways, six tall Corinthian columns, a grand marble stairway, as well as Patience and Fortitude — the world-famous pair of marble lions that stand guard by the Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street entrance.
Why We Love International Special Librarians Day
It acknowledges an underrated profession
A librarian and their job are often regarded as boring. Anything that brings to light their work and contributions is welcome.
It reminds us of the importance of information
This day is not just about the professionals who record and store data. Information is power, and those who have access to it can accomplish great things.
It celebrates the old and new methods of storing information
Information collection has always existed, done in different forms. There is the traditional way of manually organizing books and the newer way of encoding data on a server.
International Special Librarians Day dates