Celebrate National Library week at your library

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

By Hulen. E. Bivins

The week of April 8 – 14 marks the 60th anniversary of the first National Library Week celebration. From its beginning, National Library Week has been designated as a time to encourage people to read to improve their quality of life while developing, via sharing with others, a strong and happy family life.  The week also provides a reminder to be thankful for the services provided by those government entities that prioritize the well-being and the advancement of its citizenry by providing library resources.  Indeed, libraries of all types serve as catalysts in their communities, offering opportunities for children and adults alike to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to providing access to books, e-books, computers and other resources, public, school, and academic libraries offer expert teaching and guidance to aid library users in their quest to open new worlds and change lives.

Libraries have historically served as our nation’s great equalizers of knowledge, providing free access to information for all people. Today’s libraries continue this tradition. National Library Week is therefore a reminder to all Americans that today’s libraries are not just about what they have for people, but what they do for and with people. Increasingly, libraries are places of creativity where people can utilize invaluable resources that serve as a lifeline, including access to technology, job-seeking resources, social services and small business tools.

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Libraries have become much more than just a selection of books with a quiet place of study. Mississippi’s libraries have transformed from sedate institutions into creative and engaging community centers where diverse groups come together for common purposes, to share ideas, to collaborate and acquire new knowledge.  Librarians are available to assist patrons in using increasingly complex technology and sorting through the potentially overwhelming mass of information bombarding today’s digital society.

This is especially crucial when access to reliable and trustworthy data is more important than ever. Celebrations during National Library Week include:  Monday, April 9: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2017; Tuesday, April 10: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators, and friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers; and, Wednesday, April 11: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.