National Library Week (April 8- 14, 2018) is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support. Free access to books and online resources for families. Libraries offer opportunity to all. The theme for 2018 National Library Week is “Libraries Lead,” and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland will serve as 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair.
National Library Week 2018 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958. This national celebration is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate every year in National Library Week.
In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”
In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”
National Library Week was observed again in 1959, and the ALA Council voted to continue the annual celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship.