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Celebrate Star Wars Day with Your Library

Star Wars Day

On the fourth of May each year, the world turns its gaze to a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away to celebrate one of the most iconic franchises in history: Star Wars. When "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" was released in 1977, director George Lucas couldn’t have conceived that his film would become a cultural and economic behemoth, spawning a multitude of sequels and spinoff films, TV shows, books, and toys, and influencing generations of movie fans, science lovers, and learners.

Not surprisingly, libraries and librarians across the US are enthusiastic supporters of Star Wars Day, hosting events both in-person and virtually. Some highlights this year include:

Bemidji (Minn.) Public Library is set to host a free Star Wars Day event with activities all day, including games, costume contests, and crafts. Stop by to make-your-own lightsaber!

There will also be a special appearance by the 501st Legion cosplayers, an international costuming organization dedicated to celebrating Star Wars. The group will pose for pictures and show off their costumes.

Fort Vancouver (Wash.) Regional Libraries (FVRL) is packing a one-two punch this weekend with its Library Con in recognition of both Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day, which is also May 4. Festivities begin Friday, May 3, at Vancouver Community Library with several rounds of trivia followed by a showing of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” On Saturday, all library branches will give away comic books with some branches offering crafts, photo opportunities, trivia contests, and movie screenings.

Vancouver Community Library will also host presentations by Hugo Award-nominated artist, writer, and colorist Taki Soma (“Dick Tracy,” “The After Realm,” and “Iron Man”), former senior executive editor at Dark Horse Comics Diana Schutz, and Eisner Award-winning author David F. Walker.

The teen craft event at Albuquerque (N.M.) Public Library’s Cherry Hills branch sounds particularly fun, too. Participants can build their own lightsaber and even learn circuitry. All materials will be provided.

Inside the Star Wars universe

One ofI Love Libraries favorite Star Wars-related places is Rancho Obi-Wan, a nonprofit museum in Petaluma, California that houses the world’s largest Star Wars memorabilia collection, as certified by Guinness World Records in 2014. Museum founder Steve Sansweet has amassed more than 500,000 Star Wars items since the museum’s founding in 1998, everything from rare toys to life-size replicas of Star Wars characters. The collection is outstanding. Listen to I Love Libraries editor Phil Morehart discuss the collection with Sansweet here.

For more Star Wars audio delights, we recommend this fascinating look at the sound artists at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, who use Soundminer to access and build an ever-expanding library of nearly a million sounds from the Star Wars universe.

And we can't forget the American Library Association’s famous READ posters and T-shirts featuring The Child aka Grogu from "Star Wars: The Mandalorian." There's no better way to show off your love for both Star Wars and libraries.

May the Fourth be with you!

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