Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action  --
The Red Notebook

Annual Events
@ Your Library

Deaf Related Events

General Interest Events

Deaf Related Events

The following has been observed in past years by the United States; some may apply to Canada and other nations. Public libraries are encouraged to form partnerships with local deaf-related organizations to celebrate one or more annual events throughout the year.        
Inventor’s Day
February 11, birth date of Thomas Alva Edison
A US presidential proclamation since 1983
To observe the birth anniversary of Thomas Alva Edison, an inventor with 1,093 patents  His deafness was actually an asset as he once said it allowed him to work with less distraction and to sleep deeply, undistributed by outside sounds

Deaf History Month
March 13-April 15 
Since 1997 
To commemorate the three most important deaf cultural dates in American history
March 13, 1988: The victory of the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University located in Washington, D.C. when the first deaf person was selected to become president of this 124-year-ole institution
April 8, 1864: Charter signed by the President Abraham Lincoln, authorizing the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution (now Gallaudet University) to grant college degree to deaf students
April 15, 1817: First permanent school founded for deaf students in the Western Hemisphere, now known as the American School for the Deaf
National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month (US) has developed a National Deaf History Month kit. click on "library."

Mother, Father Deaf Day
Last Sunday in April
Since 1994
To give members of Children of Deaf Adults, known as CODA, the opportunity to honor their deaf parents and to recognize the gifts of culture and language they received    
CODA has library resources.

Better Hearing and Speech Month
Since 1927
To raise public understanding about hearing, voice, speech, and language disorders, and recognize speech and hearing professionals for the important work they do
American Speech-Language Hearing Association has library resources.

National Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week 
Full week in June that includes the 27th, the birth date of Helen Keller
A US presidential proclamation since 1984
To observe the birth anniversary of Helen Keller who was born on June 27 in 1880 and to enhance public awareness about deaf-blind people’s needs for full participation in society
Helen Keller National Center has library resources

Deaf Awareness Week  
Last full week in September
Since 1975 
To celebrate the culture, heritage, and language unique to deaf Americans
Some places use "culture" or "heritage" instead of "awareness" for the name of the week.    

International Week of the Deaf
Last full week in September
Since 1958
To promote public awareness in local communities to strengthen solidarity among deaf people and to call attention to concerns important to deaf people
Some countries observe the Week at different times during the year.

Clerc-Gallaudet Week  
First full week in December
Since December 1-7, 1974
To celebrate birth anniversaries of the two pioneers in deaf education who were born in the month of December – Laurent Clerc on December 26, 1785 and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on December 10, 1787 – and to recognize their impact on American society since the 19th century.

General Interest Events

National Library Week
Let's Join the circle of deaf knowledge @ your library
April 16, 2008
This week is the 50th anniversary of National Library Week (April 13-19, 2008).  Every year in April since 1958, communities across the country celebrate libraries of all types. Librarians, library workers, library customers and supporters are also commended for their contributions to what the nation’s libraries are today.

To celebrate the week, the National Literary Society of the Deaf presents the following five questions; each includes a possible answer.  Enjoy!

This deaf author of Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America is one of the three co-authors of Through Deaf Eyes: A Photographic History of an American Community, published in 2007.
    a)  Douglas Bahl
    b)  Clifton Carbin
    c)  Jack R. Gannon

In January 2008, American Library Association announced this author the winner of the Schneider Family Book Award -- Kami and the Yaks, a fiction book for children.
    a)  Andrea Stenn Stryer
    b)  Lou Ann Walker
    c)  Marlee Matlin

This well known author was inspired by his boyhood experiences with deaf parents and friends when working on books for children.   
    a)  Thomas Bull
    b)  Myron Uhlberg
    c)  Colin Bootman

The Printer, a fiction book for children by Myron Uhlberg whose deaf father was a printer, should be a valuable resource for promoting this annual event.
    a)  Black History Month
    b)  Inventor’s Day
    c)  Deaf History Month

 What is the name of the book recently selected by the National Literary Society for its two-year reading promotional project called Deaf America Reads?
    a)  Only in America
    b)  Moments of Truth
    c)  Great Deaf Americans: The Second Edition

1. c.
The two other co-authors are Douglas C. Baynton and Jean Lindquist Bergey.
2. a.
Kami is deaf.
3. b.
One of his books, Dad, Jackie, and Me received the Schneider Family Book Award in 2006.
4. c.
In 19th and 20th centuries, many deaf people worked as printers; a few owned printing shops. Some were moonlighters holding the second job as printers.
5. b.
Public libraries and deaf-related organizations are urged to work together to promote reading and books in their local communities. For details, visit

Older Americans Month

Proclaimed annually in May by the US President since 1980
For 2008, the national deaf community has good reason to celebrate this month because the National Association of the Deaf, its section: Senior Citizens Section and Deaf Seniors of America (DSA)  have just launched “Senior Resources” – the first ever- comprehensive listing of items of interest to older deaf persons and their families or caregivers.  When visiting, please click on senior resources listing.    
If your library has such resources in your area that should be added to this listing, please send email via
A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (Lao Tzu c.604 - c.531 b.c.)

Read Across America Day
is the first Monday of March to honor Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss.  His birthday is March 2.
Sponsored since 1998 by the National Education Association
One of the NEA partners is the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)  The National Association of the Deaf and the DCMP sponsor Read Captions Across America Campaign. DCMP is administrated by the NAD and is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education This event is meant to place emphasis on the benefits of reading captions.  Bill Stark, the DCMP project director, has always agreed with the famous saying of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel)  -- "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not."    For more information about this exciting event and DCMP resources that benefit the nation's libraries, please visit

©2001, 2008

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