Hooray for libraries! National Library Week begins in just TEN days! We can hardly wait but maybe you’re wondering, “What is that all about?” Lucky for you I majored in history and would love to tell you the story…
National Library week (NLW) is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and is a time to celebrate libraries, librarians, and all that libraries have to offer us and provide for us. This event is hosted every April and always has a theme. This year, NLW is April 12 – 18 and the theme is “Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library ®.”
The first ever NLW occurred in 1958. The ALA explains that “in the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954…In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries.” The theme in 1958 was “Wake Up and Read!” The celebration was so successful it became an annual event.
Through NLW there are some more specific celebrations to be had. For example, April 14th is National Library Workers Day, the day we get to say “thank you” to all of the librarians who help keep our libraries working. April 15th is National Bookmobile Day and April 16th is Celebrate Teen Literature Day.
You must be on the edge of your seat wondering, “How can I get involved with this awesome celebration of libraries?” With this year’s theme being “Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library ®” the ALA is asking everyone to share what they’ve made with the help of their library. Maybe you checked out a knitting book and made a scarf, maybe you made a video in the building, wrote your memoirs, or maybe you were simply able to finish your homework in a quiet space. Whatever it is, share it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #librarymade. At the Athenaeum we would just love to see what we’ve helped you make but the ALA is also offering a chance to win a $100 gift card beginning April 13th. Now you are completely prepared to embark on the week-long celebration that is National Library Week!