Libraries of all types are part of a delicate ecosystem that supports the transformation of communities and lives through education and lifelong learning. From the cradle to the grave, libraries provide invaluable resources that serve as a lifeline for billions of users for access to technology, early and digital literacy instruction, job-seeking resources, social services and small business tools.
This year's National Library Week theme is “Welcome to Your Library” – because libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building, and everyone is welcome to use their services. During the pandemic libraries have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their users. Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer opportunities for everyone to explore new worlds and become their best selves through access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programs.
National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.
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 2018 celebration marked the 60th anniversary of the first event.
For more information on National Library Week, please visit ILoveLibraries.org/NLW or follow #NationalLibraryWeek.