By KATHY WOODRELL
The Library of Congress invites all public libraries to take part in the national celebration of the Library of Congress Bicentennial.
On April 24, 2000, the first day of issue, the United States Postal Service will release a commemorative postage stamp (at right) at the Library of Congress in Washington. From April 25 through May 31, libraries around the country can hold their own ceremonies as "second-day" issue sites.
To date, 380 public libraries and approximately 30 state libraries plan to hold events -- there is no limit to the number of libraries that can take part in this collaborative venture with the Library of Congress. Libraries have great flexibility in planning a second-day issue event and the potential is limitless.
Several libraries in Tuscaloosa, Ala., are holding a cooperative community event. Participating libraries inlude Brooks-Cork Library, Shelton State Community College; Tuscaloosa Public Library; Health Sciences Library, University of Alabama; William H. Sheppard Library, Stillman College; and University Libraries, University of Alabama.
The Emmaus Public Library in Pennsylvania plans to hold a second-day event as part of its annual used-book sale. The usually well-attended book sale will be held at a local middle school, where the library hopes to draw new and diverse crowds for both events.
After a successful bond drive for a new building, the Huron Public Library in Ohio plans to use its second-day event as part of a groundbreaking ceremony.
The Wauseon Public Library, also in Ohio, plans to hold a stamp issuance event as part of a yearlong celebration of 125 years of library service. Similarly, the Corfu Free Library in New York will hold an event as part of its 80th anniversary celebration.
On request, the Library of Congress Bicentennial Program Office will send an information kit that includes a timetable and checklist for planning your second-day-issue event, guidance for planning a ceremony, programming ideas and suggestions, information about envelope designs for your event, publicity guidelines and many other documents to assist you with event logistics. Staff in the Bicentennial Program Office are also available to work directly with you on planning an event.
This is an opportunity to invite your member of Congress and local dignitaries and celebrities to take part in the second-day issue event. Holding such an event is a great way to honor a prominent community member or to partner with interested organizations to exemplify the Library of Congress Bicentennial theme, "Libraries, Creativity, Liberty," as well as the American Library Association's 2000 theme, "Libraries Build Community."
Consider using your second-day issue event to highlight an area celebration, to kick off a programming series, unveil new library equipment, dedicate a new collection or feature an element of your library you would like to highlight. One library plans to hold the second-day issue event at the opening of a new library building.
More information about the commemorative stamp second-day issue project, including an image of the stamp design, can be found at www.loc.gov/bicentennial/items_stamp.html.
If you are interested in holding an event, need additional information, or wish to request an information kit, contact Kathy Woodrell in the Library of Congress Bicentennial Program Office at firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone (202) 707-7206; or toll-free (800) 707-7145.
Ms. Woodrell, a reference librarian in the Main Reading Room, is detailed to the Library's Bicentennial Program Office.