Americans continue to turn to their libraries as nation celebrates National Library Week, April 10 - 16

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/11/2011

Contact:

Macey Morales

CHICAGO – Americans continue to turn to their local libraries for help finding a job and other important services, as the nation celebrates National Library Week, April 10 - 16, 2011.

Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.5 billion times and checked out more than 2 billion items in the past year. Nearly two out of every three Americans own a library card.

Library users continue to turn to their libraries for use of computers,  free wireless Internet access  and e-books, personal finance tools, information for job searches and small business opportunities and, of course, the knowledge and experience of librarians.

Libraries are helping job seekers, since more businesses – including a majority of America’s leading retailers –require applicants to apply online.  Job-seeking resources are among the most in-demand among the technology resources available in U.S. public libraries.

But despite the value they offer, libraries face budget cuts throughout the United States.

Nineteen states reported cuts in state funding for public libraries from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2011. Of these, more than half indicated that the cuts were greater than 10 percent.

Much of the information detailing the challenges facing libraries can be read in the State of America’s Libraries Report, which is released annually during National Library Week. This year’s report includes the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s “Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2010.” To read the entire report, visit http://tinyurl.com/alasalr2011,

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.

Events planned for National Library Week include National Library Workers Day, held April 12, a day of appreciation for all library workers, including librarians, support staff and others who make library service possible every day.

National Bookmobile Day will be held April 13. On this day libraries will recognize and celebrate the role of bookmobiles and direct-delivery outreach services in fulfilling the mission of libraries.

Support Teen Literature Day, April 14, raises awareness among the general public that young  adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens.

And each April is School Library Month, which celebrates the value of school librarians and their impact on student achievement.

The spokesman for this year’s National Library Week is author John Grisham. He is widely recognized as the world’s most popular storyteller, with more than 250 million books in print worldwide. John Grisham, whose latest book is “The Confession,” recently spoke of the value of libraries in a video on the ALA’s YouTube site.

This year’s National Library Week theme is “Create your own story @ your library.”

For more information on National Library Week please visit www.ala.org/nlw .

 

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Editors, please note:

 

National Library Week artwork is available.  To request a high-quality electronic file for publication, please contact Macey Morales, ALA Media Relations Manager at (312) 280-4393, mmorales@ala.org or Jennifer Petersen, PR Coordinator at (312) 280-5043, jpetersen@ala.org.