United Nations Public Service Day is June 23 every year. It is not one of the big, flashy commemorations, but we think it's one of the underappreciated ones. Public Service Day celebrates the value of public service to the community. It recognizes the work of public servants and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector. In my humble opinion, libraries are the classic public service institutions. Another reason to celebrate Public Service Day is that we're just entering a spirited midterm election. I sometimes find it hard to remember that politicians are in public service. Here are some unique ideas for displays and décor for your library and fun resources for your patrons.
Posters for Your Library
Zazzle.com offers a great selection of affordable full-sized contemporary and historical public service posters like The National Parks Preserve Wild Life WPA Poster or the Cute Fireman Firefighter Bear Poster. Media Specialists Guide has a selection of retro, mini library posters for free.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has some free downloadable public service announcement posters.
School Library Journal has a very nice collection of free library-oriented posters. It's from 2013, so some of the links are not live any more, but most are.
Prestwick House has some very affordable library posters as well as free ones.
Find an impressive selection of free voting posters courtesy of League of Women Voters and AIGA, the professional association for design. Designs are scaled at 11 x 17 inches to suit personal color printers.
Public Service Education and Career Resources
New York University hosts a comprehensive set of resources for public service career exploration. It describes jobs in several areas, including government, finance, healthcare, international development, philanthropy/nonprofit, policy research, and libraries. It also has a big list of job search websites.
U.K.-based TES hosts some useful public services teaching resources designed for vocational public service courses. The free courses include PowerPoints, assignments, and workbooks to help prepare students for this field of work.
The University of California, Berkeley Public Service Center has some great resources on service learning, including a guide for instructors to develop community partnerships. It also hosts a best practices guide for planning a one-time service project.
The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that strives for a more effective government for the American people. It was started in the early 60s to revitalize the federal civil service. I'm just mentioning it because it's a steady, bright point of light in an otherwise fractious political climate.
Indeed's Public Service Librarian Jobs — in case your patrons want to know what librarian jobs are out there currently. Just saying. …
Public Service Announcements
Most media outlets run public service announcements (PSAs) at no cost and are often looking for interesting ones — for instance, like some fun things your library is doing.
Community Service Toolbox from the University of Kansas hosts an excellent free online course that goes all the way from explaining what PSAs are to how to write and produce them to how to pitch them to local media outlets.
Bill Goodwill's little Primer on Local PSA Outreach is also worth checking out for its Dos and Don'ts sections.
YouTube, of course, hosts numerous little videos on how to make a PSA, with examples of good ones.
Storyboard That also hosts a fun PSA short course with examples, ideas, and topics.
This resource list only scratches the surface on fun Public Service Day ideas. If you have additional ideas, please tell us below in the comments section.