Libraries = Strong Communities: Celebrate National Library Week April 7-13, 2019
Melinda Gates is 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 is an exciting opportunity for libraries of all types to raise awareness of their value and impact in the communities they serve. Free tools are already available for you to start planning—stay tuned for more great materials coming soon!
- 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
- Thursday, April 11: Take Action for Libraries Day, a day to speak up for libraries and share your library story. #MyLibraryMyStory
How to Participate
Join the National Library Week Community in ALA Connect to help brainstorm ideas, share best practices and receive up-to-date news and happenings about National Library Week. You'll need to create an account, but ALA membership is not required to join.
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.
Free National Library Week Tools
Libraries = Strong Communities Advocacy Initiative
Libraries = Strong Communities is a national advocacy initiative of 2018-2019 American Library Association President Loida Garcia-Febo. Garcia-Febo is touring a series of libraries throughout her presidential year to ignite public awareness about the value of libraries and library staff and create a groundswell of support at the local, state, national, and global level. Follow the hashtag #LibrariesStrong on social media to keep up with the Libraries = Strong Communities tour and related events.
Libraries are encouraged to use the Libraries = Strong Communities platform locally to highlight the value of their library and empower patrons to advocate for libraries.
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.
Future National Library Week dates:
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