Find Your Place at the Library: National Library Week April 19-25, 2020
The theme for National Library Week 2020, "Find your place at the library," was chosen some time ago, before any of us could imagine the emergence of a global pandemic that would force most libraries to temporarily close their physical spaces. But you can still find your place at the library because libraries are open for business online, providing the virtual services and digital content their communities need more than ever. You can access ebooks, movies, music, video games, virtual storytimes and activities, and so much more — all from the comfort of your home.
This year during National Library Week, let’s celebrate by showing our appreciation for the many innovative ways libraries, librarians and library workers are continuing to serve their communities during a time of crisis.
Maia and Alex Shibutani are 2020 Honorary Chairs!
Olympic medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani, a.k.a. the ShibSibs, are National Library Week Honorary Chairs and want everyone to know that they think libraries are amazing!
Celebrations during National Library Week
- Monday, April 20: State of America's Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2019.
- Tuesday, April 21: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.
- Wednesday, April 22: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.
- Thursday, April 23: Take Action for Libraries Day, a day to rally advocates to support libraries.
Ways to Celebrate National Library Week
1. Visit your library [online]
While many libraries are temporarily closed due the current public health crisis, it's a great time to explore the many digital resources they provide. Most libraries offer access to audiobooks, e-books, music and movies. Some are even finding ways to offer programs online, such as virtual storytimes, book clubs, and crafting sessions.
2. Say #ThankYouLibraries on social media
Find Your Place at the Library Graphics
Maia and Alex Shibutani are 2020 Honorary Chairs!
Maia and Alex Shibutani, a.k.a. the ShibSibs, are two-time Olympic bronze medalists, three-time world medalists, Four Continents Figure Skating Champions, and two-time U.S. National Champions. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, they became the first ice dancers of Asian descent to medal at the Olympics and are only the second sibling duo in the history of the sport to share an ice dancing medal. They travel the world and enjoy spending time together (most of the time), eating food (all of the time), and meeting new people (any time!).
KUDO KIDS: The Mystery of the Masked Medalist is the first in a middle-grade series that marks the writing debut of Maia and Alex Shibutani. Co-authored by Michelle Schusterman, recognized by the American Library Association's 2019 Rainbow Book List, the book is set at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The fun-filled, fast-paced mystery is inspired by the Shibutanis’ own familial bond and experiences traveling the world with Team USA. Available May 2020, just before the 2020 Olympics, the book captures the curiosity and life experiences that the ShibSibs share with their combined 1.4 million followers on social media channels and through their original YouTube videos, with more than 11 million views.
Libraries Welcome Everyone
There’s something for almost everyone at the library, and each library serves the needs of its own unique community. This is reflected in their collections, in their spaces, and in their programming and events. But to ensure that they are welcoming places for everyone in the community entails much more than just opening the doors to everyone. Here are three stories of how libraries across the country are working to include diverse perspectives and ensure equity of access for everyone.
- At Multnomah County Library, Director Vailey Oehkle and her staff have been intentional in creating conditions for equity to flourish -- in hiring, in collection development and staff outreach programs, and in digital initiatives.
- Erika Long, school librarian at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Nashville, TN, understands that giving students a space that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive helps them succeed in the library and beyond.
- As a disability rights advocate, JJ Pionke, Applied Health Sciences Librarian at the University Library of the University of Illinois, embeds the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion into his work in tangible ways.
National Library Week Materials from ALA Graphics
Posters, mini-posters, bookmarks, digital poster files , and the ShibSibs READ poster are available at the ALA Store!
ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.
About National Library Week
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.
Future National Library Week dates:
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join ALA's Libraries Transform public awareness campaign for year-round access to public awareness tools and tips.
Thank you to ALA Library Champions for supporting ALA’s efforts in raising public awareness for libraries and librarians.
Thank you to Dollar General Literacy Foundation for funding The American Dream Starts @ your library program.