Begun in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries — school, public, academic, and special — participate.
Libraries are not only free repositories of books but are also rich suppliers of online resources, workshops, lectures, business centers, and community outreach programs. Library programs are designed to encourage community members to meet and discuss civic issues, work together using new technologies like 3D printing, or learn alongside one another in English language or technology classes. Library staff also partner with other civic and service organizations to actively engage the people they serve, always striving to make sure their community’s needs are being met.
To learn about an array of ways to celebrate — from sharing your library story to showing your support on social media — visit the American Library Association's National Library Week website.
To Name This Day . . .
Write a quote of your own in praise of libraries to add to this list.
"Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information."
— Neil Gaiman in "Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming" from TheGuardian.com (October 15, 2013)
"If humanity were to lose its libraries, not only would it be deprived of certain treasures of art, certain spiritual riches, but, more important still, it would lose its recipes for living."
-- Georges Duhamel in In Defense of Letters
"Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open."
— Laura Welch Bush in The 21st Century Elementary Library Media Program by Carl A. Harvey
"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."
— Jorge Luis Borges in Dreamtigers
In A Man without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut writes, "I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and destroyed records rather than have to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the media. The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries."
This week, write a letter of appreciation to your local librarians for their community mindedness and the care that they take of vital intellectual resources.