Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day 2022

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 AND see below for L4P Day ideas.
  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, 2022. 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 2022 is “End racism. Build peace.” Join the UN to #FightRacism.

This year’s Mortenson Center events are also part of Welcoming Week 2022 in Champaign County (IL, USA), a weeklong celebration of immigration that brings together neighbors from all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming inclusive places.


Immortalizing the Voiceless
32nd Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture with
Mike Thomson, BBC World Affairs Correspondent, Presenter and Author
September 21, 2022; 3:30-5:00pm CT (Check for local time here:
School of Information Sciences, 501 E. Daniel St., Champaign; Room 126 AND online
(Refreshments to follow: 5:00-5:45 pm)

Flyer  <PDF> |  Recording

BROWN BAG CONVERSATION ON “News, Stories, and Information in the Peacebuilding Process”
21 September 2022 | 12:15-1:15 pm
106 Main Library, 1408 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana

Join us for a Brown Bag panel on “News, Stories, and Information in the Peacebuilding Process” moderated by
Steve Witt, Director, Center for Global Studies and Head of the International and Area Studies Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in conversation with
+ Charles “Stretch” Ledford, Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
+ Jane Ray, Consultant Artistic Director, Whicker’s World Foundation and Documentary Filmmaker
+ Mike Thomson, 32nd Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer, BBC World Affairs Correspondent, Presenter and Author

Enabling those affected by war and tyranny to tell their stories, giving voice to the voiceless, empowers us all. Not only is being heard cathartic for those who have lost so much, it also helps us all to truly engage with their plight, deepening our desire to help in whatever ways we can. We all know that hundreds of thousands of people are near starving in Yemen or being butchered in places like Syria and Ukraine, but knowing is rarely enough. We need to feel, to identify, to realise that this could be us or our loved ones. To be linked to the thread of humanity that connects us all, whatever our country, creed or culture.
Yet until recently people’s heartfelt stories told on the ephemeral media of radio and TV were soon forgotten, their often unretrievable words lost in the past. Now thanks to big advances in digital technology such precious voices live on online and in numerous digitised archives around the globe, helping to inspire as well as inform us. The BBC’s veteran International Correspondent, Mike Thomson trawls through his own expansive news archives, to reveal some extraordinary voices from distant and often troubled places.

Mike is a multi-award-winning International correspondent for the BBC. Over the last couple of decades his work has taken him to many of the world’s most troubled places. These have included Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, North Korea, Darfur, DR Congo, Sierra Leone, North Sinai, Colombia and the Central African Republic. He has undertaken acclaimed undercover investigative assignments in places such as Libya, Zimbabwe and Myanmar and covered some of the world’s biggest news events. The latter range from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and the devastating Haiti earthquake to the election of several US presidents, the fall of Gaddafi and the death of Nelson Mandela.

Mike’s many awards have included: Radio Story of the Year for his documentary (latter book) Syria’s Secret Library at the One World Media Awards (2017), News Journalist of the Year (2012) at the Sony Radio Academy Awards and War Correspondent of the Year (Radio/2008) at the international Prix Bayeux Calvados Awards in France. He has also won a record four Amnesty Media Awards, three of these in consecutive years (2008-2010), five Sony Radio Academy Awards and five Foreign Press Association Media Awards.

In addition to his reporting for the BBC Mike is the author of the highly acclaimed book Syria’s Secret Library, as well as Editor of The Raqqa Diaries: Escape from Islamic State. The latter book is about a young man’s day-to-day experience of living under the terrifying Islamic State group, followed his highly-revered series of broadcasts of the same name across BBC television, radio and internet.

Mike is based in London where he lives with his wife, Jane and two grown-up children. He was the 30th Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer.

CO-SPONSORED BY: Center for Global Studies through support from the US Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program | Department of Journalism | European Union Center | Mortenson Center for International Library Programs | School of Information Sciences | University of Illinois Library Urbana-Champaign

For more information:

Peace Day Ideas from/for Libraries Across the Globe


  • Plan an intercultural picnic for your class/group to help raise awareness about the cultures represented in your community.
  • Make and display Peace Flags in 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.
  • Draw your vision of peace using sidewalk chalk. CHALK4PEACE is an international organization that brings together young artists to draw their vision of peace in public and private spaces with sidewalk chalk as a scheduled worldwide event.
  • 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 cranes and puppet folding, and a talk story in 2019.
  • Poetry >>> Hosting a poetry slam for peace or participating 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


  • Host a Human Library>>> Roots and Shoots has an instructional guide on how to set up a Human Library to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices. 
  • At the University of Notre Dame the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is hosting a hybrid conversation on this year’s theme, “End Racism. Build Peace”. Participants can register to attend the Zoom meeting or join in person from 4:00-5:00 PM EST.
  • 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 on to public libraries, schools, and university libraries.
  • A drum circle for peace was held in Portugal <video>


  • In Utah, the Park City Library is celebrating International Peace Day and Voter Registration day in 2022. Participants will be able to register to vote and ​​make a desktop peace pole to bring home. There will be a mock election for all ages to participate in. Voting includes who should rule the Star Wars Galaxy and a proposition of what theme should be in the next display case in the children’s area.
  • The Normal Public Library is running an art exhibit called “What Does Peace Look Like?”. The exhibit, which runs from 9/21 to 10/3, 2022, is “a collaborative community art project in celebration of the International Day of Peace. Through imagery, artwork, and writing, this exhibit explores what community members of all ages envision when they consider the ideals of peace and a peaceful world”. 
  • 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 was 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.”