National Library Week 2009: Visits surge as nation celebrates contributions of libraries  Â

Contact: Macey Morales

ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-4393


For Immediate Release

April 14, 2009

CHICAGO – During National Library Week, April 12-18, the nation will celebrate the invaluable contributions of libraries. Libraries across America report a surge in visits by patrons who want free computer and Internet access, job information and accurate financial materials, in addition to many other services,. The demand for books, CDs, DVDs continues to grow as well.

The 2009 National Library Week theme is
“Worlds Connect@your library,” and all types of libraries—school, public and academic are celebrating with special programs.

New York Times best-selling author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis is the Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2009. Her messages about the value of America's libraries to your community are available by downloading public service announcements (PSA’s) featuring Curtis. To download the Curtis PSA’s please visit .

National Library Week kicked off with a reading event featuring Jesse L. Jackson, CEO and founder of the RainbowPUSH Coalition, and Keith Michael Fiels, ALA’s executive director, in Chicago last Saturday. Reverend Jackson and Fiels discussed the value of libraries during the RainbowPUSH Coalition’s Saturday Morning Forum, which was televised, and read to a group of children from their favorite books.Â

On Monday, April 13, the American Library Association (ALA) released its 2009 State of America’s Libraries Report. According to the report, “The importance of libraries in American life continued to grow in—and accelerated dramatically—as the national economy sank and people looked for sources of free, effective help in a time of crisis.”

School libraries will celebrate the month of April as
School Library Media Month, sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Libraries are at the heart of the learning experience for almost 44 million elementary, middle and high school students. During the entire month of April, parents, students and library media specialists will celebrate the value of our nation’s school library media centersÂ

National Library Workers Day, April 14, the nation will honor library staff for their valuable contributions. Libraries and library staff play an important role to help Americans deal with tough economic times. Patrons are visiting libraries in record numbers, looking for guidance from library staff on how to use computers and the Internet, access financial literacy resources and search for jobs.

The much anticipated Top Ten list of the
Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2008 will be released by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) later in the week. For more than a decade, the OIF has received reports on book challenges from across the country. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

And on April 16, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is sponsoring Support
Teen Literature Day. Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive more than 8,000 young adult novels, audiobooks and graphic novels next month as readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, celebrate the third annual Support Teen Lit Day.

For more information about National Library Week and the various activities that will take place visit the National Library Week press kit at Â .