On April 12, 2016 the beloved children’s author and librarian, Beverly Cleary, will turn 100. She has been a passionate force in librarianship and children’s literature for as long as most of us can remember. How many of us grew up reading Henry Huggins or every Ramona book we could get our hands on?
What makes Ms. Cleary so successful in her writings is that she used her own personal experience of working with children as a school librarian in Yakima, Washington in the United States of America. Inspired by their need for stories they could relate to, which she had found lacking in her own childhood, she began to craft the stories the world would eventually fall in love with.
So, how do we pay tribute to the life and career of this amazing librarian and author on the eve of her centennial? In the United States, her birthday falls, quite perfectly, during our annual National Library Week, where we honor the contributions of libraries and librarians. How we celebrate varies from institution to institution but it always feels like a week full of surprise parties in the library and our patrons love it.
This year, in honor of her remarkable contributions to our profession, we will commemorate the life and work of Beverly Clearly during National Library Week, as I am sure many libraries will. We are planning to a countdown to her birthday with a trivia questions every day leading up to April 12th, combined with an extensive exhibit of her work, and culminating in toasting this outstanding librarian and author with a birthday celebration including cake, balloons and readings of her works. It is our small way to say “Thank you and Happy Birthday, Ms. Cleary!”
– Molly Brown, ILN Content Officer