American Library Association celebrates National Library Week, April 23-29
For Immediate Release
Communications and Marketing Office
CHICAGO — Libraries support communities by providing more than just books and access to information. Communities can take advantage of internet and technology access, literacy and skill-building tools, professional development courses, job training, and so much more. This year, the American Library Association (ALA) will celebrate National Library Week from April 23–29, with the theme, “There’s More to the Story.”
Libraries bring communities together through a plethora of programs and services, such as book clubs, story time, movie nights, games, museum passes, special classes and lectures, to name a few. The under-utilization of these tools and programs inspired ALA to bring these library assets to the forefront during 2023’s National Library Week and spread public awareness.
New York Times best-selling and award-winning author, Kelly Yang, will serve as this year’s honorary chair. Yang authored many books for young readers, including the Front Desk series, as well as standalone titles, “New from Here” and “Finally Seen.”
“It is truly an honor to serve as chair for this year’s National Library Week,” said Yang. “It is a crucial time for advocates like ALA, alongside the public, to team up and support these essential assets to our community. As an immigrant that came to this country at six years old, libraries nurtured and empowered me to go after my dreams. My hope is to help shine the spotlight on all the wonderful - and lesser known - services that libraries offer.”
In addition, ALA will kick off National Library Week by unveiling its highly anticipated list of the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2022 on Monday, April 24, along with the annual State of America’s Libraries Report. More than 2,571 unique titles were targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted for censorship in 2021, with a majority written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.
“ALA began documenting the book challenges reported to us over two decades to illuminate the threat of censorship. Book challenges distract from a library’s core mission to provide access to information,” said ALA President Lessa Pelayo-Lozada. “While a vocal minority stokes the flames of controversy around books, most people across the nation are using life-changing services that public and school libraries offer. Our nation cannot afford to lose the library workers who lift up their communities and safeguard our First Amendment freedom to read.”
During National Library Week, the ALA invites communities to observe the following:
- Monday, April 24: Right to Read Day, an inaugural celebration to acknowledge and promote the right to read and mark the one-year anniversary of ALA’s Unite Against Book Bans campaign; the 2023 State of America's Libraries Report and Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2022 will also be released on this day.
- Tuesday, April 25: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators, and friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.
- Wednesday, April 26: National Library Outreach Day (formerly National Bookmobile Day), a day to celebrate library outreach and the dedicated library professionals who are meeting their patrons where they are.
- Thursday, April 27: Take Action for Libraries Day, a day to rally advocates to support libraries.
April is also School Library Month, sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians, an ALA division.
First celebrated in 1958, National Library Week is observed each April by ALA and libraries across the county. For more information on National Library Week, please visit ILoveLibraries.org/NLW or follow #NationalLibraryWeek. National Library Week artwork is available for download at http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/presskits/nlw.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.