National Library Week, April 9 – 15, 2017, is a time to celebrate our nation’s libraries and library workers for transforming lives through free access to technology, information literacy, diverse collections and opportunities for community engagement.
In a world of rapid technological and cultural change, libraries and library workers are establishing themselves as trusted resources for both individuals and the community at large. Conducting an online search can be a daunting task, even for an experienced researcher, with millions of hits for any question or topic. Librarians are trained experts who can guide library users through this information jungle to find what they are seeking, whether they are verifying news sources, investigating healthcare options or exploring sources of student financial aid.
Libraries also provide a wide range of opportunities for people with diverse wants and interests, including cultural heritage collections, materials in alternate formats such as large print, multilingual internet trainings, bilingual story hours, English as a Second Language classes and many other programs.
In Modesto, California, a librarian promotes early literacy to parents and caregivers working in agricultural fields and a librarian in Conway, Arkansas, improves academic performance at her elementary school by developing student leaders. A librarian at a university in Colorado Springs, Colorado, helps new students become confident with the academic research process, while a library in Houston provides a safe haven and emergency relief services during natural disasters. Library programming and offerings continue to expand to reflect the changing needs of the communities they serve.
This year’s theme for National Library Week is “Libraries Transform,” and Olympic soccer gold medalist and World Cup champion Julie Foudy is lending her support as National Library Week Honorary Chair. Foudy is helping to shine a light on the value of all types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – and the expertise of library workers.
National Library Week celebrations include the release of the American Library Association’s 2017 “State of America’s Libraries Report” on Monday, April 10. The annual report examines library trends of the past year and will include the highly anticipated “Top Ten List of the Most Challenged Books of 2016.”
On Tuesday, April 11, National Library Workers Day will recognize librarians, support staff and others who make library service possible every day. On Wednesday, April 12, National Bookmobile Day will acknowledge the impact bookmobiles and direct-delivery outreach services have played for more than 100 years. In addition, April is School Library Month, which is sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the ALA.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is observed each April by the American Library Association and libraries across the country.