Every day, libraries of all types prove that they are powerful agents of community change. No longer just places for books, libraries now offer a smorgasbord of free digitally-based programs and services, including 3-D printing, ebooks, digital recording studios and technology training.
National Library Week will be observed April 8-14, 2018 with the theme, “Libraries Lead.”
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.
The National Library Week 2018 celebration will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958.
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!”
Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 10, 2018), 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 11, 2018), 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 Take Action for Libraries Day, a national library advocacy effort observed for the first time in 2017 in response to proposed cuts to federal funds for libraries.
On Monday, April 9, the 2018 State of America’s Libraries Report will be released. The report includes the much anticipated list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books of the previous year, compiled by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Misty Copeland serves as 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair.
In August 2015, Copeland was promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history.
Copeland is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “Life in Motion,” and her 2014 picture book “Firebird” won the Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award in 2015. Her new book, “Ballerina Body,” an instant New York Times Bestseller, published in March 2017.
She has worked with many charitable organizations and is dedicated to giving of her time to work with and mentor young girls and boys. She was named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in June 2013. In 2014, President Obama appointed Copeland to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. And in 2015, she traveled to Rwanda with MindLeaps to help launch its girls program and to establish The Misty Copeland Scholarship.
There are several ways to celebrate National Library Week:
1. Visit your library.
Head to your public, school or academic library during National Library Week to see what’s new and take part in the celebration. Libraries across the country are participating.
2. Show your support for libraries on social media.
Post National Library Week graphics to your social media channels.
National Library Week is the perfect opportunity to tell the world why you value libraries. This year, in keeping with the Libraries Lead theme, we’re asking you tell us how the library led you to something of value in your life.
Library lovers can post to Twitter, Instagram, or on the I Love Libraries Facebook page during National Library Week for a chance to win. Entries can be a picture or text. Creativity is encouraged. Just be sure to they include the hashtags #LibrariesLead and #NationalLibraryWeek for a chance to win.
One randomly selected winner will receive a $100 gift card and a copy of “Firebird,” the Coretta Scott King Award-winning book by Misty Copeland, our National Library Week Honorary Chair.
Join in the fun. The promotion begins Sunday, April 8 at noon CT and ends Saturday, April 14 at noon CT. Check out the National Library Week page for details and more ways to celebrate.