Yes, it IS once again National Library Week this week (April 13-19), and you should join me in celebrating our libraries – national and local, public and private (such as our Seminary library)! The following is taken from the American Library Association website, and includes some basic facts about this annual event.
National Library Week will be observed April 13-19, 2014 with the theme, “Lives change @ your library®.”
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.
Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 15, 2014), a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers; National Bookmobile Day, celebrated the Wednesday of National Library Week (April 16, 2014), a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities; and Celebrate Teen Literature Day, celebrated the Thursday of National Library Week (April 17, 2014), aimed at raising awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens.
I find the background to this annual celebration to be quite interesting – and still quite relevant:
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. The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”
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. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”
The Association of Christian Librarians, of which I am a part, is also marking the week, asking for special prayers on behalf of its staff and on behalf of all the member libraries which serve such a significant role for the institutions to which they belong.
So join us this week in noting the important place libraries have in our lives, for the access they give us to books and magazines and many other resources, to the internet and digital libraries and archives, to the world of knowledge – not as an end itself, but so that we might know God and His works, and might love and serve Him in all we do in life.
And by all means continue to support your library – especially by your presence there and by the reading of good books! And don’t forget to take your children and grandchildren! :)