National Library Week

Celebrate Libraries and books, National Library Week 2011!

By Sam Johnson

     A free public library . . .
     Some would argue there is no institution more important in America, or perhaps in the world.
I would agree.
Certainly, the public library has been in the business of changing lives and improving the quality of life for the citizens of our nation, state, and community for a long time.
    To draw attention to this fact, and to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians, the American Library Association (ALA) is calling on citizens in their communities to celebrate National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011.

 The Story of National Library Week:
National Library Week was fist celebrated 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.

National Library Week Resources

Click to link below to discover more info. and web links related to National Library Week!
National Library Week Resources

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!"
National Library Week was observed again in 1959, and the ALA Council voted to continue the annual celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship, and National Library Week has been held annually ever since, in celebration of our nation’s libraries and librarians of all types, including public, school, academic, special collections, and private lending libraries.
     This year the theme is “Create Your Own Story @ Your Library.”
According to the American Library Association, libraries are places for new beginnings.  Whether you are getting your first library card, learning new computer skills or planning a trip, the library is the place where your story begins.
According to Molly Raphael, president of ALA, “Every day, libraries across the country are helping people create their own unique stories. Whether it is by opening a book and exploring distant lands, or by learning how to use new technologies to find a job, people at our library are creating new stories for themselves.”
This year ALA encourages all community members to take advantage of the wonderful resources at their local library to “Create Your Own Story @ The Library!”

Stories of Others Created @ The Library:
I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to charge through that door and make the most of it."       -- Isaac Asimov, author

      "When I was a kid and the other kids were home watching Leave It to Beaver, my father and stepmother were marching me off to the library."    -- Oprah Winfrey, talk-show host

      "I used to go to the library all the time when I was a kid. As a teenager, I got a book on how to write jokes at the library, and that, in turn, launched my comedy career."       -- Drew Carey, comedian

      "My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia. When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject. They couldn’t believe this access to knowledge we have here in America."
--Kirk Douglas, actor

     "The best of my education has come from the public library... my tuition fee is a bus fare and once in a while, five cents a day for an overdue book. You don't need to know very much to start with, if you know the way to the public library.     -- Lesley Conger

     "I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved."    -- Barbara Kingsolver, novelist

    "My books are very few, but then the world is before me - a library open to all - from which poverty of purse cannot exclude me - in which the meanest and most paltry volume is sure to furnish something to amuse, if not to instruct and improve." 
                                 -- Joseph Howe, writer, 1824

     "We Americans naively look at the library as our birthright, often unaware that a free public library system is far from universal. The Bill of Rights doesn't guarantee the freedom to read. But the American library network hands this priceless gift to anyone who's interested upon a silver platter."     -- Helen Schary Motro, American Attorney & Writer

     “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”  -- Cicero, poet

   Visit your school or local library this coming week and "Create Your Own Story @ The Library!"

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