Communities “Come together @ your library” to celebrate the changing role of libraries

Contact: Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations


For Immediate Release

April 10, 2007

Communities "Come together @ your library" to celebrate

the changing role of libraries

As library visits boom, communities celebrate

National Library Week, April 15-21

(CHICAGO) Libraries are changing and dynamic places, and as a result library visits are booming. Communities from across the country, and all types of libraries, will come together to celebrate the many contributions of our nation's libraries and library workers, during National Library Week, April 15 - 21, 2007.

This year's theme is "Come together @ your library," and libraries are looking more like social hotspots. Unlike bookstores and cyber cafés, libraries offer free access to technologies including wireless Internet access, laptops for in-library use, 24/7 online reference help, e-books, blogs, Wikis and downloadable MP3s.

Libraries don't just provide the hardware, but also offer the expertise of librarians in helping teach people how to use the Internet and find the information they need quickly. While Web search engines can give you thousands of responses to a question, your librarian can help you find the one answer you need.

Although libraries are on the forefront in delivering new technologies, they are still providing the nuts-and-bolts services that people need. From providing the tools to conduct a job search, write a résumé to learning new work skills, libraries are empowering their users with the tools needed to better their lives.

"Reading and checking out books are still the primary reason why people visit the library, but in many communities libraries take on different roles," said American Library (ALA) President Leslie Burger. "Libraries are continuously reinventing themselves in an effort to provide a multitude of programs and services for their users. In many communities the local library serves as a cultural center, technology training center, cyber café, or community center."

Library use is up nationwide among all types of library users. Almost 1.8 billion visitors checked out more than 2 billion items last year from one-room rural outpost libraries to new modern facilities.

National Library Week is the time each year that the ALA and communities nationwide celebrate and promote the contributions of our libraries and librarians. Local events reflect the range of programs and services in public, school and higher-education libraries - from jazz concerts to literature speed dating to book sales. A partial list of National Library Week events can be found online at .

Other events going on during National Library Week include:

  • "Step Up to the Plate @ your library" national launch, April 15

    America's favorite pastimes - baseball and libraries - team up for literacy. Kids and young adults between the ages 9 to 18 years of age are invited to go to their library from April 15 to September 1, 2007, pick out a baseball book and submit an essay on how their favorite character inspired them. One grand-prize winner will receive a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in October 2007. More information on "Step Up to the Plate @ your library," developed by ALA and the Hall of Fame, can be found at

  • The release of ALA's State of America's Libraries Report, April 16

    The report details both the positive impact libraries and librarians have on the millions of people who use them and the various challenges libraries face.

  • National Library Workers Day (NLWD), April 17

    The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), an organization that advocates for improving the salaries and status of librarians and support staff, also is sponsoring its third annual National Library Workers Day (NLWD). This national observance is a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers - including librarians, support staff and others.

  • Teen Literature Day, April 19

    Libraries all across the country will host programs and celebrations to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens. Programs will showcase award-winning authors and books in the genre, as well as highlight librarians' expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

  • National School Library Media Month, April

    Many schools will observe School Library Media Month throughout April with open houses and other events that highlight the contributions of school libraries and librarians. Research shows that the highest achieving students attend schools with well-stocked and staffed school library media centers.

For more information on National Library Week please visit .