The room let off a golden, cozy glow that, when combined with its hushed atmosphere, quickly made it my favorite room in the school. The first time I saw the new library, I had visions of Belle from Beauty and the Beast as I looked wonderingly from towering shelf to towering shelf, each one filled to the top with beautiful stories. I wanted to read each and every one.
Because I love reading so much, I became fast friends with the school librarian. After school a couple days a week, she would set aside books she thought would pique my fancy. I would spend a few hours just lounging between the stacks, reading and dreaming of the worlds revealed on each page. Even though the staff was always busy helping kids with homework, showing teachers how to use the computers (hey, it was the 90s!), and endlessly reshelving books that people left willy nilly all over the room, they always made time for people who were looking for a literary adventure.
While you might associate the month of April mostly with April Fool’s Day pranks or Easter celebrations, don’t forget that National Library Workers Day falls on the 14th. So what better time to shower your favorite librarian with some love? Considering all that books give us, the least we can do is give back to the people who curate the stories we love to read. These gift ideas for librarians will let your local library workers know how much you appreciate the job they do.
Literary Gift Ideas for Librarians
“What…what is that?” my mother asked, shock apparent on her face. She was staring at my jeans, which were covered from waist to hem with tiny words. I had stayed up all night painstakingly transcribing passages from my favorite book at the time, Pride and Prejudice, onto my pants, so I could proudly show them off at school the next day.
While I’m definitely not suggesting you scribble on your librarian’s clothes (for a number of reasons, including that my mom would still find it distasteful), it’s a great idea to give a gift that is a nod to their love for the written word. But instead of going the obvious route and getting them a book, find something that’s related to one of their favorite books instead.
Here are some of my favorite literary-themed gift ideas:
A Book-Centric T-Shirt: Avoid getting anything that says “librarian”—you’re going for slightly subtle here. Still, there are many different ways to gift your librarian with a literary shirt. Get them one with a favorite quote emblazoned across the front, the cover of their favorite book, or a rendering of a favorite character.
A Literary Scarf: Those drafty library halls can get chilly. A warm and cozy scarf sporting the words from a favorite book or classic work of literature is a stylish way for your librarian to stay cozy while manning the stacks.
Book-Themed Jewelry: If your librarian is always sporting jewelry, from cufflinks to earrings, there’s plenty of book-related jewelry you can find online. That way, they can wear their love of lit for all the world to see.
A Book Print Travel Mug or Water Bottle: It takes a lot of caffeine to roam the halls of the library, asking people to keep their voices down and trying to make sure all those tomes stay perfectly organized. Help them sip their drink of choice in style with a mug or water bottle that reflects their literary interests.
The great thing about literary gifts is that you can easily personalize them to your giftee’s specific preferences. Just figure out some of their favorite books or genres and you can pick a gift that is sure to put a smile on their face!
Reading Accessory Gifts
It’s a pretty safe bet to assume that most people working in a library are fond of reading. And while library workers are literally surrounded by books all day long, there are other presents that will make the experience of settling down with a new book that much cozier.
Consider gifting your favorite librarian with one of these useful reading accessories:
Custom Bookmarks: Avid readers know that bookmarks come and go faster than the seasons, meaning they’re always in high demand. If you’re getting a gift for your kids’ school librarian, consider helping your children make a set of custom bookmarks. Trace a bookmark you already own onto card stock. Then, have your kids (under your supervision) cut out words and pictures from magazines, using Mod Podge to affix them to the bookmark in collage style. Add a few extra layers of Mod Podge to seal everything (or laminate the bookmarks between two sheets of clear sticky paper), and your personalized gift is ready.
A Reading Light: When I was a kid, nothing was more fun than making a blanket fort and reading with my flashlight late into the night. These days, rather than trying to juggle a bulky light like that, I opt for a clip-on reading light. It’s handy to have multiple reading lights so you can have one at home and one to bring on trips (or to keep as a backup in case one gets lost). To jazz up the gift of a simple reading light, consider bedazzling it with sequins to give it some sparkle.
A Tote Bag: Any committed reader knows that as much as you love your books, it can be a pain to haul them around. Look for a handy and stylish tote that will keep your favorite librarian’s books safe when on the go.
Things in the library might seem subdued, but beneath the surface, there’s adventure a-brewing. Every book holds a story, and just as the calm cover of a book can hide the vibrancy within, so can the quiet demeanor of a librarian mask a life of excitement and adventure.
They open the door to new worlds for us, they help us discover more about the world we’re already in, and they’re always willing to lend a hand. This April 14th, show your librarian how much you care with a gift to thank them for all they do.
Still looking for ideas of how to shower your librarian with love? Check out Elfster’s book lover’s gift guide or start a gift exchange to celebrate National Library Workers Day. Share your favorite finds with us on Elfster’s Facebook page, on Twitter @Elfster, or on Instagram @Elfster.