See What’s Happening in July

Posted by Susan Brackney

When your library’s in the thick of summer reading season, putting on extra programming or throwing together an interesting new display might not be at the top of your list of priorities. But, just in case you are looking for a little inspiration, here are a few notes and ideas for the month of July.



July is officially International Zine Month. (You can also find International Zine Month on Facebook here.) This could be the perfect backdrop for a teen/tween program on DIY publishing! Bust out your zine how-to books, plenty of pens, paper, scissors, and glue, and encourage patrons to create their own zines. Or simply host a local zine swap or reading


Sponsored by Etiquette Expert Jacqueline Whitmore, July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, so set out your best etiquette books and spruce up the signage for your quiet areas. (Really, shouldn’t this be every month?…)

ice cream


July is also National Grilling Month. Invite a local grilling guru to share some tips, tricks, and recipes. Don’t forget dessert! National Ice Cream Month falls in July, too. How about an ice cream-making workshop or an ice cream social? (Or both!)


July 18-26 is all about moths. Check out the official National Moth Week website
to see FAQs, download a free moth coloring book, learn how to attract moths and collect data, and more.


The Tour de France runs from July 4-26. Could be fun to break out that old copy of “Breaking Away” to show as a related teen or all-ages event.

From July 7-14 Spain will feature its annual Running of the Bulls. How about a reading from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises to commemmorate the occassion?



Sure, July 4 is Independence Day, but did you know it’s also Independence-from-Meat Day? Granted, that might be a pretty tough sell on what is traditionally the day for grilling out steaks and hot dogs, but increasing numbers of people are going vegetarian (and even vegan!) for health reasons. You could create a display of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks to help patrons gear up for the occassion.


Maybe you can’t make it to the official Comic-Con International meeting in San Diego from July 9-12, but you could be a local hero by creating a mini version of the event for your library. Prominently display your comics and graphic novels, encourage patrons to come in costume, and invite some cartoonists in to speak and demonstrate their skills. (Not sure where to find a cartoonist? Try the National Cartoonists Society or one of its regional chapters.)


July 18 marks the birth of Humanitarian Nelson Mandela and Nelson Mandela International Day. Visit to learn how you can get involved and to download resources, including background information, Mandela Day artwork, videos, etc.



A film adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns will hit the big screen July 24, so you might want to make sure you have a few extra copies on hand, along with The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and An Abundance of Katherines, among others. (View the movie trailer for “Paper Towns” here.)


The United Nations recognizes July 30 as International Day of Friendship. According to the intergovernmental organization, “The resolution (A/RES/65/275) places particular emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.”

happy b-day


July’s not just about J.K. Rowling. (Although, you can make it all about her, if you’d like.) The month spawned all sorts of literary talent, so go on and celebrate with some special readings or maybe just a nice display.

  • George Sand—July 1, 1804
  • Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher—July 3, 1908
  • Dave Barry—July 3, 1947
  • Nathaiel Hawthorne—July 4, 1804
  • Jean Cocteau—July 5, 1889
  • Gary Shteyngart—July 5, 1972
  • Hilary Mantel—July 6, 1952
  • Ann Ward Radcliffe—July 9, 1764
  • Marcel Proust—July 10, 1871
  • Alice Munro—July 10, 1931
  • Karen Russell—July 10, 1981
  • E.B. White—July 11, 1899
  • Henry David Thoreau—July 12, 1817
  • David Storey—July 13, 1933
  • Wole Soyinka—July 13, 1934
  • Jane Hamilton—July 13, 1957
  • Richard Russo—July 15, 1949
  • Arianna Huffington—July 15, 1950
  • Erle Stanley Gardner—July 17, 1889
  • William Makepeace Thackeray—July 18, 1811
  • Hunter S. Thompson—July 18, 1937
  • Eve Merriam—July 19, 1916
  • Cormac McCarthy—July 20, 1933
  • Ernest Hemingway—July 21, 1899
  • Sarah Waters—July 21, 1966
  • Aldous Huxley—July 26, 1894
  • Alexandre Dumas—July 27, 1824
  • Beatrix Potter—July 28, 1866
  • Chester Himes—July 29, 1909
  • Alexis de Tocqueville—July 29, 1805
  • Booth Tarkington—July 29, 1869
  • Emily Brontë—July 30, 1818
  • J.K. Rowling—July 31, 1965

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