ICfL staff members have had their eyes out for relevant stories, tools, and tricks so you don’t have to. Topics and resources for this month include National Hispanic Heritage Month, Banned Books Week, free COVID-19 tests, programming ideas, and lifelong learning sources. We hope you find these resources useful and inspiring. Enjoy!


  • September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. Your library can celebrate and recognize the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of Hispanic and Latino communities through programs, displays, and these materials from ALA.
  • September 20th through 26th is International Week of the Deaf People 2021. This year’s theme: Celebrating Thriving Deaf Communities. September 23rd is the International Day of Sign Languages. This year’s theme: We Sign for Human Rights”. 
  • September 26 through October 2 is Banned Books Week. This year’s theme celebrates the uniting power of books. You can use these materials to create vibrant displays and to ignite discussions about how books unite us by reaching across boundaries and building connections between readers.
  • September 1 is the birthday of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of the Tarzan adventure novels (1875); Francis William Aston, the chemist who discovered isotopes (1877); and Lily Tomlin, one of America’s great comediennes (1936).
  • September 2: On this date in 1901, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt publicly utters the phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick” to describe his style of foreign policy. September 2 is also the birthday of Keanu Reeves (1964) and Salma Hayek (1966).
  • September 3, 1783: The Treaty of Paris is signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the United States of America, officially ending the American Revolutionary War. On this date in 1838, abolitionist Frederick Douglass escapes slavery.
  • September 4: Richard Wright is born (1908). In the 1920s, Wright is denied access to the Cossitt Library in Memphis, Tennessee, because of his race. A sympathetic white man helps Wright use the library, thus nourishing his dream of becoming a writer. This story is told in Wright’s autobiography, Black Boy (1945). According to the American Library Association, Black Boy was the 81st most banned and challenged book in the United States between 2000 and 2009.
  • September 5: The First Continental Congress opens in Philadelphia (1774). Singer Freddie Mercury is born (1946). Boxer Cassius Clay wins gold at the Summer Olympics in Rome (1960).
  • September 6: Labor Day (2021). Jane Addams is born (1860). Among the numerous achievements of Jane Addams, she is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States, advocate for women’s suffrage, co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), founder of Hull House, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • September 7: Actress Julie Kavner is born (1951). Ms. Kavner is best known to audiences as the voice of the long-suffering Marge Simpson, a role she originated in 1987 as part of the new Fox Network’s Tracey Ullman Show.
  • September 8: International Literacy Day, an international observance celebrated by United Nations member states each year since 1966 to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies. As of 2018, some 775 million individuals lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate, two-thirds of that number being women; 60.7 million children are not in school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. To learn more about what your library can do to promote literacy, check out the ICfL’s Early Literacy resources. On this date in 1966, Star Trek premieres on the NBC television network. The program is now considered one of the most popular and influential television series of all time and has spawned a franchise consisting of eight television series, 13 feature films, and numerous books, games, and toys.
  • September 9: Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, is born (1890). In 1935, Sanders is made a Kentucky Colonel by letters patent issued by Kentucky governor Ruby Laffoon. On this date in 2015, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history, surpassing the record previously held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
  • September 10: Elias Howe is awarded the first U.S. patent for a lockstitch sewing machine (1846). Robert Wise, known for directing films that include West Side Story (1961), The Sound of Music (1965), and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, is born (1914).
  • September 28th is National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy.  Libraries that sign up for the program by September 4th will receive FREE promotional materials, including posters and stickers to promote voter registration services.
  • October 1 is International Day of Older Persons – first celebrated in 1990, the day is a reason to respond to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing population in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages. It is also a day to appreciate the contributions that well-seasoned people make to society.
  • October is LGBTQ History Month, an annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights It was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson to provide role models, build community, and represent a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. Some resources for libraries: