Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day 2021

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

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, 2021. 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 2021 is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world“. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the UN Resolution on the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243 B).

CELEBRATE PEACE by providing information on protecting communities against the coronavirus variants, promoting the right to health information and preservation of traditional medicine, combatting acts of hate online and offline, and providing spaces that foster community engagement and understanding.  AND…

TO ANOTHER LIBRARIAN  and EXPLORE the love letters from other librarians to you. “Love in the Times of Coronavirus” by Knovvmads is inspired by the Comfenalco libraries letter-writing program (Medellín, Colombia, 2020).


Libraries recovering better for an equitable, sustainable and peaceful world (A Webinar)
September 21, 2021; 12:00-1:15pm CT
(Chicago | Check for local time here:

Elizabeth Pierre-Louis Augustin, Program Director, Fondation Connaissance et Liberté – FOKAL (Haiti)
Ana María Talavera Ibarra, Professor, Information Sciences Program, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Peru)
Clara M. Chu, Director and Distinguished Professor, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Flyer  <PDF> |  Recording

Summary: As the world recovers from the pandemic, the recovery process is unequal. Libraries can take action by sharing best practices to lead and support local needs across the globe. In their role as community hubs, all libraries contribute to their communities to recover better for a more equitable, sustainable and peaceful world. Since launching the Libraries for Peace Initiative in 2016, 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. In celebration of the United Nations’ 2021 theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world” and the Mortenson Center’s 30th anniversary, we invite you to celebrate peace by providing information on protecting communities against the coronavirus variants, promoting the right to health information and preservation of traditional medicine, combatting acts of hate online and offline, and providing spaces that foster community engagement and understanding.

In this webinar, speakers will present how libraries in their countries can recover better for an equitable, sustainable and peaceful world from a time of difficulty, not only because of the pandemic but political instability, economic insecurity, and environmental hazards. The presentations will be followed by a panel conversation and Q&A with the audience.

For more information:
A webinar in celebration of the Mortenson Center’s 30th Anniversary.  

Pandemic recovery efforts in libraries:

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.  Depending on your part of the world, present the program that ensures the safety of your community.


  • 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.”