It’s been a challenging 12 months for libraries, whether public or in schools. The changes brought on by the pandemic have altered the way libraries function. Some have adapted with curbside services and more online offerings, making the most of tech to deliver the free, public knowledge services for which libraries are so beloved.
So, when time came to plan this year’s nationwide celebration of libraries — National Library Week — the American Library Association (ALA) worked hard to recognize these changes and the hard work of librarians in schools, universities, and public facilities across the United States.
Welcome (Back) to Your Library
That is why the theme for this year’s National Library Week, April 4–10, 2021, is simple: “Welcome to Your Library.” Indeed, many will be returning to their local libraries soon, students will fill media centers, and librarians will again adapt to changing circumstances.
Ready to honor those who help spread the word of the power of words? Here’s how you can be a part of the occasion, whether at school or in your community.
What Is National Library Week?
National Library Week was started in 1958 and is observed during the first week of April to recognize the vital work of school, public, academic, and special collection libraries.
The organizers also want to recognize the good works of specific library workers. From a NLW press release:
On April 6, 2021, the nation will celebrate National Library Workers Day (NLWD), a time to recognize library staff members for their public service contributions in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning.
The ALA 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 http://bit.ly/librarystar. Academic, public, special, school library patrons can “Submit a Star” by providing a brief testimonial about a favorite library employee. Patrons are welcome to share stories about how library staff has an impact on their lives or community. Each testimonial will appear in ALA-APA’s “Galaxy of Stars.” Library staff and the general public can also share well wishes over their social media channels with the hashtag #NLWD21 or post messages to the National Library Workers Day Facebook page.ALA. “Nation to celebrate library workers’ contributions, April 6, 2021.”
In addition, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) builds on the celebration to mark School Library Month all throughout April.
Spreading the Word about National Library Week
First, you can keep up with nationwide activities and events by following on social media. The NLW organizers and ALA suggest following the hashtags, #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform, to follow along, pick up inspiration and ideas, and share your library successes.
Each day of the week features a unique theme, event, or release relevant to librarians, administrators, teachers, or simply library-lovers. Here’s what’s on the schedule. Check out the links to learn more about each item.
- April: School Library Month
- Monday, April 5 The State of America’s Libraries Report: Special Edition is released
- Tuesday, April 6 National Library Workers Day
- Wednesday, April 7: National Bookmobile Day
- Thursday, April 8: Take Action for Libraries Day
Further, you can build a love of libraries at your school during School Library Month. Check out all the ways to do so, including posters, activities and resources, and more on their website.
More Library Resources from TCEA
- Join LIB-SIG, our Special Interest Group of libraries
- Podcast: Going Beyond the Library with Shannon Miller
- Podcast: Fake News and Digital Literacy with Jennifer LaGarde
- Google Tools for Your Library
- Bring the World into Your Library with Google Geography Tools
- Digital Stories for Remote Learners
- Remote Learning Resources and Ideas for Librarians
- TexQuest: If You Rebuild It, They Will Come
- Finding Free Audiobooks for Educators
- Better Together: Why Sharing Is Integral to Future Ready Librarianship