National Library Week

Editor’s note: This was due to be published in April, during National Library Week, but due to technical issues it was delayed. Our apologies to the Author !

Every April for one week libraries across the nation celebrate their work in unison. A theme is chosen by the ALA each year, and every library in the United States tries to participate in some way. Per the site it’s a “time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.” It was established back in 1958 by the ALA and has been observed ever since. To commemorate this annual event, let’s look at some of the different ways libraries are celebrating.

The honorary chair for LW 2022 is Molly Shannon and the ALA created a post on their Facebook page about it. Molly also stated ““I am so honored to serve as honorary chair of National Library Week for 2022. My mom was a librarian. She encouraged kids to read. So, the work of librarians and libraries has such a special place in my heart. Libraries are places where communities connect—to things like broadband, computers, programs and classes, books, movies, video games, and more. But most importantly, libraries connect us to each other.

Supporting National Library Week in this role allows me to connect to my mother’s memory and all the librarians out there. Thank you for everything you do.”

The theme this year is Connect with your Library. As a way to help everyone celebrate in unison graphics wise, the ALA provided the following customizable image for libraries to use:

Syracuse University School of Information Studies is hosting some events this week.

Similarly, the Jersey City Free Public Library has uploaded this video and some others to their Facebook page for anyone to watch. In the video, Miss Mary reads three books to her virtual audience.

The Shreve Memorial Library in Shreveport LA shared this image of why it’s so important for libraries to provide private and free information to their communities. They also point out that librarians are there to help, we are not judging you for what information you need.

The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections posted some pictures of the university library from decades ago. The Metropolitan Library System posted a quote from the American Presidency Project, Proclamation 3226 “Let National Library Week be a time for the appraisal of community needs for library services and of the means for meeting them, for encouraging the development of a better-read, better-informed citizenry, and for re-dedication to that fine public service that has always been characteristic of the libraries of America.”

The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives page celebrated by making virtual puzzles available on their site. The King Public Library reminded their community that the book mobile will come to them if they can’t make it to the library. The Rockville Public Library in Vernon CT posted “We’re in the midst of National Library Week (April 3 – April 9, 2022). This is a good time to briefly reflect on how impactive the library is to your community… the library has something for everyone…” Without doubt, this statement is true, since all libraries at some point or other have had to explain why something (program, book, electronic resource) is part of the library.

The Wayne Public Library decided to celebrate NLW by posted juvenile pictures of their staff and telling their patrons to guess who it was. Its an excellent way to connect on a more personal level. Likewise, A.L. Lotts Elementary PTA kindly posted a thank you to the school librarian.

Sheen Magazine posted a short article about “Music Icon and Library Supporter Jody Watley Celebrates National Library Week”. The article goes on to say, “Watley says, “Libraries play an important role in our communities and it’s important to salute them, support library workers and promote library use.” Its important for celebrities like Jody and Molly to publicly support libraries, since their opinions are clearly respected by many. The same can be said for AARP Wisconsin, who posted a video of their interview with Nyama Reed, President of the Wisconsin Library Association.

The Arkansas University Alumni Association also shared a link to showcase their recent renovations which foster community and connection. Similarly, the Westhampton Free Library created a slideshow of the past and present changes to their library. The evolution of the libraries as buildings helps to show how they have changed to meet the demands of their communities.

Westchester Public Library used NLW to have the patrons get involved in a more artistic way. They had members from the community create artwork on 4×4 mini canvases which were then showcased this week.

The libraries mentioned here are a mere handful of those which participated in NLW. Each observed the week-long theme in relatively unique ways, from virtual story time to a community artwork display. They all embraced the Connect with your Library theme, some using the graphic provided by the ALA. It’s important to have a regular reminder like this of how vital to our communities libraries are.

By Gretchen Hendrick Gardella, MLIS

Gretchen Hendrick Gardella is a Librarian with administrative, research, and vast technical skills. Ms. Gardella brings over 16 years of experience working in academic and public libraries to the discussion.