Libraries = Strong Communities: Celebrate National Library Week April 7-13, 2019
National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.
This year’s theme, Libraries = Strong Communities, illustrates how today’s libraries are at the heart of our cities, towns, schools and campuses, providing critical resources, programs and expertise. They also provide a public space where all community members, regardless of age, culture or income level, can come together to connect and learn.
Library programs are designed to encourage community members to meet and discuss civic issues, work together using new technologies like 3D printing or learn alongside one another in English language or technology classes. Library staff also partner with other civic and service organizations to actively engage the people they serve, always striving to make sure their community’s needs are being bet.
Join the celebration! National Library Week is an exciting opportunity for library supporters and libraries of all types to raise awareness of their value and impact in their communities. Free tools are now available to help spread the word about National Library Week including print and digital graphics, sample social media posts and much more! Check back often as we are continuing to add more tools and resources.
Ways to Celebrate
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. Share your library story—how do you library?
Libraries mean so many things to so many people: they provide free access to media, host fascinating programs and events, and strengthen their communities through education and lifelong learning. Celebrate National Library Week by sharing your library story—how do you library?
Post photos, videos, or text on social media highlighting what you love about your library, whether it’s a way your library brings your community together or a few of your favorite library resources and activities. Share during National Library Week (April 8 – 13) using the hashtag #MyLibraryMyStory on Twitter or Instagram or on the I Love Libraries Facebook page for a chance to win big: one randomly selected poster will receive a $100 VISA gift card. The promotion begins Sunday, April 7 at noon CT and ends Saturday, April 13 at noon CT.
If you love your library, say it loud and proud: vocal community support helps libraries secure much-needed funding and reminds hardworking library staff that their efforts are appreciated. Participating in #MyLibraryMyStory is a quick, easy way to help your library thrive!
3. Show your support for libraries on social media.
And don't forget to follow your library, the American Library Association, and I Love Libraries on social media and join the celebration on social media by using the hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform.
Post these National Library Week graphics to your social media channels or blog.
Celebrations during National Library Week include:
- Monday, April 8: State of America's Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2018.
- Tuesday, April 9: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, administrators, and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. #nlwd19
- Wednesday, April 10: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make high-quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities. #BookmobileDay2019
- Wednesday, April 10: Library Giving Day is a one-day fundraising event with the goal of encouraging people who depend on and enjoy public libraries to donate to their individual library system. #LibraryGivingDay
- Thursday, April 11: Take Action for Libraries Day, a day to speak up for libraries and share your library story. #MyLibraryMyStory
Thank you to Melinda Gates, 2019 National Library Week Honorary Chair!
Melinda Gates has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. Now she will lend her support to advocate for our nation’s libraries as honorary chair of National Library Week. Over the last 20 years, Gates has invested more than $1 billion through her foundation’s Global Libraries initiative to enhance the power of libraries to improve lives. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she sets the direction and priorities of the world’s largest philanthropy. She is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States.
On April 23, Gates will debut “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment. The candid and inspiring book traces Gates’ awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. It introduces us to Gates’ heroes in the movement toward equality, offers startling data and shares some of the moving conversations she’s had with women all over the world. Gates details the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to “turbo-charge” change, and she provides simple and effective methods that each of us can use to make a difference.
National Library Week Materials from ALA Graphics
Posters, mini-posters, bookmarks, and National Library Week Sets are available at the ALA Store!
ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.
About National Library Week
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.
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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.