10 April 2016

Celebrate National Library Week 2016

National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country usually during the second week in April. The first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme "Wake Up and Read!" This year's theme is "Libraries Transform!"

National Library Week allows everyone to celebrate the contributions of our nation's 119,487 libraries and 366,642 library workers and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate. This year we beat the drum for libraries April 10 - 16. 

On Monday, April 11, the State of America's Libraries Report is released, including a list of the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2015. (Note: The link should be live by Noon on Monday).

Tuesday, April 12 is National Library Workers Day when the focus is on all those who keep libraries up and running, that is, professional and paraprofessional library staff, Friends groups, Library boards, and the administrative units that help pay each library's bills.

On Wednesday, April 13 we celebrate National Bookmobile Day.  Although the Beaufort County Library retired its last bookmobile in 1993, many libraries still provide a bookmobile service staffed with dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities. 

BTW: You can see some images of bookmobiles from the 1940s to the early 2002 in the South Carolina State Library’s Bookmobiles Collection. See photographs of the bookmobiles, library staff, patrons of all ages and the collections housed in these mobile libraries. Although the State Library doesn’t have a picture of the old Beaufort County bookmobiles, we have one of the 1958 library on wheels:  
(1958: Beaufort County Library archives)

Want to know more about the history of public libraries in South Carolina? The South Carolina Public Library History, 1930-1945 collection consists of photographs and documents from the archives of the SC State Library hosted by the South Carolina Digital Library. These digital images highlight public libraries, bookmobiles, librarians, and patrons from around the state. Many photographs and documents relate to the federal Works Project Administration (WPA) Library Project in South Carolina, which provided statewide library services from 1935 to 1943. 

The Beaufort Township Library opened in 1918; the Colored Library in 1932, so library services in Beaufort County pre-date the WPA project, though the WPA effort did enhance existing library operations here. You can even come into our research room to read through the Library system's archives during our regular hours of operation to discover the working relationship between the Beaufort Township/County Library and the State Library through the years. 

Prefer just the basic facts? We have a Beaufort County Library timeline and history posted on our Local History & Nature pages that provides a brief overview of our Library system's rather complicated past.  

Heads up: Expect to hear more about the history of this community institution as we get ever closer to our 100th Anniversary in 2018. Rest assured, we'll be soliciting your input about how best to mark the momentous occasion. 

In fact, we're asking you for input this month on the matter of what programs you'd like to see us arrange for persons aged 18 to 108. The Library system is conducting a month-long Adult programming survey, April 1-30. It takes a lot of time and energy to arrange, coordinate, and present programs and instructional sessions for adults. We want to make sure that we're spending that time and energy on the type of programs that help us enhance and transform your life. Please participate: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9RD2W2T
 And don't forget! We have our own adult program on Wednesday, April 13th at 5:30 pm in the Children's Programming Room of the Beaufort Branch Library, 311 Scott Street, 1st floor. Neil Baxley will be there to share his research into the military career of Beaufort's own Brig. Gen. (CSA) Stephen Elliott: From Bay Point to Bentonville. 
Free! but seating is limited.

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