Communities nationwide will celebrate the contributions of libraries and library workers during National Library Week, April 13-19, 2014. This year’s theme is “Lives Change @ your library.”
The Pew Research Center Internet and American Life Project found that 91% of Americans believe that libraries are important to the community; 76% believe that libraries are personally important to them and their families; and perhaps to the surprise of some, that libraries are viewed as leaders in technology.
- Think a few moments about the public library of your childhood. How has the library changed?
Public libraries are tasked with serving a broad swath of the American public, from birth to the grave, with an ever broadening variety of materials and technologies. Yes, we serve school children but we also have to serve the toddler, the mother, the great-grandfather. We struggle to adapt to evolving needs and expectations of our community while maintaining older strategies of knowledge dissemination always under financially constricted conditions.
National Library Week is a time to stand up for libraries during a time when libraries continue to face challenges from a combination of recession-driven financial pressures, government neglect at many levels, and the threat of elimination or de-professionalization of school and public library programs throughout the country.
- Do you believe that “libraries help lives change in their communities, campuses and schools?”
- Do you know that “librarians work to meet the changing needs of their communities, including providing resources for everyone and bringing services outside of library walls?”
- Do you believe that “libraries and librarians bring together community members to enrich and shape the community and address local issues”?
- Do you know that “librarians are trained, tech-savvy professionals, providing technology training and access to downloadable content like e-books”?
- Do you know that “libraries offer programs to meet community needs, providing residents with resume writing classes, 24/7 homework help and financial planning services to teens applying for student loans to older adults planning their retirement”?
- Do you believe that “libraries continuously grow and evolve in how they provide for the needs of every member of their communities”?
Please take an action this week to celebrate and in support of all American libraries.
Might we suggest at the local level:
1. Let your County Council representative know that you value the contribution of our organization and its staff every week, day-in and day-out.
2. Thank your district representative on the Library Board of Trustees for their service.
3. Drop by one of our facilities to say “Hello.”
4. Buy a book or movie or poster from one of our Friends groups. They help us financially to offer programs and provide materials.
5. Like our Facebook pages.