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5 Ways to Celebrate World Book Day in Your Library

Lucas Maxwell


Lucas Maxwell has been working with youth in libraries for over fifteen years. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, he's been a high school librarian in London, UK for over a decade. In 2017 he won the UK's School Librarian of the Year award and in 2022 he was named the UK Literacy Association's Reading For Pleasure Teacher Champion. He loves Dungeons & Dragons and is the author of Let's Roll: A Guide for Setting up Tabletop Roleplaying Games in Your School or Public Library. You can follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

World Book Day falls on the 1st of March every year. It’s a time to celebrate children’s literature and reading for pleasure in general. It’s a big deal here in the UK, with schools across the country taking part in a wide variety of activities.

Here are five programs that I have found success with in the High School Library that I manage:

Dress Up as a Book Character

World Book Day

This one is by far the most popular activity to do during World Book Day. It’s the one of the rare times in the year that students can come to school not in their required uniform. We have a massive costume contest for students and staff with big prizes like Kindles and stacks of books and gift cards. If you drum up a lot of excitement around it you can potentially get hundreds of people coming to the school dressed as their favourite book character.


Have Themed Events

Quidditch Ping Pong

In 2017  we attached a theme to World Book Day for the first time ever. The theme was Roald Dahl vs. Harry Potter. Two of the most popular series of books ever. To celebrate it, we had themed events. By far our most popular event was Quidditch Ping Pong. It essentially works like beer pong except the cups are empty and the students need to bounce the balls through homemade Quidditch rings. Instructions on how to make the event a success are in the link above.

Create Displays

World Book Day

World Book Day always has great competitions surrounding displays and a great display makes students and staff excited about upcoming events. Last year we built up excitement around the event by having a series of Book Tasting lessons that lead to genre displays for each of the four Houses that our school is divided into. Getting students involved in display making is amazing way to make connections and put your library on the map.


Have an Author Visit

Yes it costs money. However, having an author visit your Library for World Book Day or any day will create a great experience for students.. To save cash, book a Skype visit, most authors will do these for free. We have a series of Skypes set up during the week of World Book Day plus an in-person author visit for an entire year group. They are a vital part of any vibrant School Library and I think you should try to bring in as many as humanly possible.

Host a ComicCon


I’ve talked before about how to make your ComicCon a success. Running your own ComicCon will attract those students who don’t naturally gravitate towards traditional literature. Plus, they are a lot of fun. In 2017 I found out that one of our staff members’ partner was a voice over artist for tons of anime shows. I asked if he’d come to the Library to speak to the students for 30 minutes, he spent an hour there for free blowing their minds with his vocal abilities. Have crafts, snacks and games and it will bring the students into the Library in droves.

I’d love to hear how any other librarians out there are celebrating World Book Day!