National Library Week Fact Sheet
Contact: Public Awareness Office
National Library Week
National Library Week will be observed April 9-15, 2017 with the theme, "Libraries Transform."
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 11, 2016), a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers; and National Bookmobile Day, celebrated the Wednesday of National Library Week (April 12, 2016), a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities..
The Public Information Office of the American Library Association coordinates the promotion, placing articles in national media. Librarians, Friends and trustees of libraries join in sponsoring local promotions. Posters and other promotional materials are available through the ALA Graphics Catalog.
The ALA Public Awareness Committee assists in planning National Library Week and related activities. The committees hold open meetings at the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting. Suggestions are welcome.
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!"
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.
National Library Week is observed each year in April, generally the second full week.
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