Nation to celebrate library workers’ contributions during – and looking beyond -- COVID-19

For Immediate Release
Mon, 03/22/2021


Beatrice Calvin

Manager, Professional Development


CHICAGO – As the nation prepares to celebrate National Library Workers Day, April 6, 2021, library staff are playing an invaluable role in supporting their communities during a crucial time in the COVID-19 crisis. But they are also diligently working to prepare beyond the pandemic now that vaccinations are available and restrictions on in-person gathering are being lifted.

Over the past year, since our nation has dealt with the impact of the novel coronavirus, libraries of all types and their workers have served millions of library users who need free access to WiFi, eBooks, accurate information, and digital social services.

Virtual services remain vital, but libraries are beginning to open up, and library workers are on the front lines on what many hope will be the back end of the pandemic.

Soon, Ohio’s public libraries will provide free rapid COVID-19 test kits for home use through a new state program. Already, one library system in the state has teamed with a county health department to make testing available in underserved areas.

At the largest library system in Northern Michigan, library workers are implementing cleaning protocols, making sure library spaces are well ventilated and returned library materials are sanitized, and ensuring that social distancing protocols are maintained, while still providing curbside services to patrons.

Library workers are also continuing programs developed while pivoting during the pandemic. A library in Texas is at 30% capacity, but continuing Zoom book clubs and checking out board games and STEAM kits.

The American Library Association Allied Professionals Association (ALA-APA) invites library advocates, patrons and staff to show their support of our nation’s library workers by posting words of encouragement and appreciation for their local library stars at Academic, public and school library patrons can “Submit a Star” by providing a brief testimonial about a favorite library employee. Patrons are welcome to share stories on how library staff have an impact on their lives or community. Each testimonial will appear in ALA-APA’s “Galaxy of Stars” at

ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. said, “Library workers play a vital role during and after the pandemic serving as a lifeline for students, families, and those in need of accurate information and support. I applaud each of you as you step in to fill gaps in our social safety net – whether through turning on Wi-Fi signals so patrons can access the internet in library parking lots or by turning bookmobiles into emergency food banks. Libraries work because you do!”

The ALA-APA will highlight all library star submissions on April 6, during National Library Workers Day, a national celebration during National Library Week (April 4 - 10) that honors the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming communities and improving lives.

Additional information regarding National Library Workers Day is available at

The ALA Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is a companion organization to the American Library Association (ALA), the ALA-APA is a nonprofit professional organization established “to promote the mutual professional interests of librarians and other library workers.”