The second week in April is an ideal time to visit your local library. Libraries across the nation celebrate National Library Week, an observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1958.
In the mid-1950's research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios and TVs. Concerned about this trend, the ALA and American Book Publishers formed a committee in 1954 that eventually created a plan for National Library Week, and in 1958 they celebrated with the theme "Wake Up and Read!"
This year's theme, "Libraries Transform," encourages people to recognize the myriad of ways that libraries have adapted to meet the ongoing needs of their communities. It is a time to celebrate the many contributions that our nation's libraries and librarians make and to promote library use and support. "We would encourage patrons to visit their libraries, make use of library resources and thank their librarians for the work that they do," says district director, Lea Hart.
Delta County Libraries is reciprocating that appreciation during National Library Week with an offer of fine free check-ins for all patrons. Any items returned in good condition the week of April 10-15 will check in without fines. "Our goal is to support patrons countywide by bringing overdue or lost items back into circulation for continued use," says Hart. "We hope that everyone with overdue or lost items will take advantage of fine free week by bringing those items back to the library."
Mary Bauer, teen librarian at Cedaredge Library, is excited about the possibility of enticing teens back into the libraries. "It is common for teens to stop visiting the libraries if they have items that have accrued fines over time," Bauer says. "I want all of those teens to know about fine free week, get their items returned, and get back into our libraries."
Along with National Library Week, there are several other events sponsored by the ALA in April to encourage awareness of libraries. Observance of School Library Month, National Library Workers Day, National Bookmobile Day and Take Action for Libraries Day all occur in April.
In Delta County, people can participate by visiting any of the five library locations, perusing the online library from home, attending a library program, volunteering, joining a friends group, or simply thanking a librarian for their service. People can also show appreciation for their library and community by returning overdue items the week of April 10-15.