Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day 2020

On September 21st, CELEBRATE Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day in observation of International Day of Peace with the world community.

Librarians, libraries and friends are INVITED to:

  1. ADD  your celebration to the L4P map & our L4P Facebook community.  Tour the map to find celebrations worldwide.
  2. SHARE YOUR IDEA WITH US on social media with hashtags: #librariesforpeace  #PeaceDay #UN75 #shapingpeacetogether on How can libraries support “Shaping Peace Together”?

The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs invites the library and information community to celebrate Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day as the world community observes International Day of Peace on September 21, 2020. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2020 is “Shaping Peace Together”. L4P celebration ideas below.


Monday, September 21, 2020; 12:00-1:15 pm
Libraries Shaping Peace Together: A Global Dialogue of Association Leaders (A Webinar)
Antonia Arahova, IFLA Treasurer; Head of Library, President’ s Private Office, Presidency of Hellenic Democracy
Camille Callison, IFLA Indigenous Matter Section Chair; Indigenous Strategies Librarian, University of Manitoba
Julius Jefferson, ALA President; Section Head, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Moderator: Clara M. Chu, Director and Distinguished Professor at the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Register at:
Flyer <jpg> <pdf>

Since launching the Libraries for Peace Initiative, the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs has invited the library and information community to celebrate Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day as the world community observes International Day of Peace on September 21 every year. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2020 is “Shaping Peace Together”. In this panel discussion, association leaders will discuss how libraries can shape peace together, the ways that their associations provide leadership for libraries to shape peace together, and opportunities for library associations working with each other and/or other organizations to create collective impact in advancing peace.


For the United Nations, 2020 was already meant to be a year of listening and learning. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN has invited millions of people worldwide to join UN75, the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation on building the peaceful and prosperous future that we want.

As we struggle to defeat COVID-19, your voice is more important than ever. In these difficult times of physical distancing, this International Day of Peace will be dedicated to fostering dialogue and collecting ideas. The world will be invited to unite and share thoughts on how to weather this storm, heal our planet and change it for the better. Even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together.

The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.” Celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us so that we can shape peace together.

Peace Day Ideas from/for Libraries Across the Globe

Note: many ideas have been or may be adapted for a virtual environment or held outdoors in 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Create a book >>> In the Relindial Cartonera project, developed by the IFLA RELINDIAL (Religions: Libraries and Dialogue) Special Interest Group, a librarian brings people of diverse origins together to create a book made in recycled materials.
  • Make art >>> In Australia, students in Gillie, Queensland created artwork to illustrate words associated with peace: cooperate, kindness, love, friendship, etc. The art was displayed in the school library.
  • Enjoy multiple activities >>> A school library in the Canary Islands celebrated peace day with crafts, a reading group, karaoke, and games. They created a video called “Peace Day’s Every Day in the Library.” The Hawaii State Public Library System hosted peace stories, origami peace crane and puppies folding, and talk story in 2019.
  • Poetry >>> Hosting a poetry slam for peace or participate in Poems for Peace (Facebook: A Million Poems for Peace).
  • Create IMAGINE PEACE Wish Tree (see example of  wish for peace tag from Coral Springs (USA)) or bulletin board
  • Create pinwheels for peace <see example from Coral Springs (USA)> and place them in the library, plant them in the library’s yard, or users may take it home.
  • Fold paper cranes
    • Indiana University East Library (USA) provided origami paper and asked students and faculty to help them create 1,000 paper cranes. This activity was inspired by a Japanese tradition that states if 1,000 paper cranes are created, the maker is granted a wish. The library asked students to wish for peace.  See:
    • The Peace Crane Project “invites every student on the planet to fold an origami crane, write a message of peace on its wings, then exchange it with another student somewhere in the world. The Project builds friendships, strengthens hand-eye coordination and writing skills, teaches geography, exposes students to new languages and cultures, and EMPOWERS YOUTH to make a difference in their community, country, and world.”

Watch / Read


  • The Municipal Library in Romania hosted a discussion titled “Peace without nuclear weapons” organized by Pro Vita Universale.
  • The University of Khartoum Peace Research Institute in Sudan launched an “Anti-War campaign” and celebrated the opening of the Resource Library for the Peace innovation Hub, which is now open to the community.
  • Duquesne University Library has an International Day of Peace Libguide with information about current conflicts around the world, social justice websites, and a list of events for peace day.
  • Duquesne University held an “International Students Speak” Peace Day event and invited international students to engage in a conversation with the campus community.
  • Many libraries have hosted Peace Day lectures with notable speakers involved in human rights work.
  • The Sun Japanese Culture Center and the Universal Peace Federation in Moldova organized a series of educational activities in libraries and schools. Library patrons made 1000 paper cranes, which symbolized their hope for peace in Ukraine. The activity started at Trolleybook, an old trolley bus that was transformed into a children’s library. Then, it moved onto to public libraries, schools, and university libraries.
  • American University is conducting a 2016 International Day of Peace Competition for SIS undergraduate and graduate students to execute a plan that will bring about 24 hours of nonviolence in Washington D.C. and create the momentum to sustain peace beyond September 21st.
  • A drum circle for peace was held in Portugal <video>


  • In Canada, Greater Victoria Public Library held a Peace Day meet-up before a peace lecture at a local church.
  • In Rwanda, Kuki Indiho Rwanda Orphans Support Project organized various Peace Day events around the country. Kigali Public Library held one of the opening events, but they don’t provide information on what they did for the event.
  • Peace as the Protection of the Creation is the theme of the 8th International Poetry Contest in Argentina.
  • The Fargo Public Library in the United States celebrates peace day with educational programs, presentations, and performances.
  • The United States Institute of Peace organized the Peace Day Challenge, starting with the Twitter hashtag #PeaceDayChallenge. See the site for more details.
  • The Dalai Lama was in Washington to promote a worldwide “peacebuilding” campaign, which he participated in by leading a workshop in India with 28 young activists from conflict zones around the world, especially from Africa and the Middle East.
  • Many libraries have hosted a Global Feast for Peace with food from different cultures. Examples:
  • Many campus communities promote signing a Peace Pledge. One example is the pledge from
  • Create a Peace and Justice Display in the library.
  • Hold a moment of silence for peace and/or candle lighting ceremony. Pathways to peace sponsors a global minute of silence at noon on international peace day.
  • Host a campus march for peace and unity.
  • The Dayton Metro Library hosted a Burundian Drumming Group and partnered with Abolition Ohio to host a Human Trafficking Exhibit.
  • LaPlace Library in Louisiana hosted a Peace Day Open House. The event included videos, displays, and open discussions on World Peace. They also started a social media campaign and encouraged patrons to take a picture with signs that said “I have a right to peace” and “We all have a right to peace.”
  • The library at Pennsylvania College of Technology displayed flags from the U.N and many of its member countries for Peace Day:
  • Providence Community Library joined with the Peace Flag Project to offer Peace Flag making workshops. The flags were displayed in the library.
  • A Peace Day celebration took place on the field outside the Wrexham Library. Participants were encouraged to bring food to share, and everyone brought items they no longer needed for a stall where community members could take items for free. They also provided live music, activities for kids, and a storytelling booth. The theme of the day was “sharing and peaceful cooperation.”