National Library Week begins on Sunday. This will be the 51st year that a week has been set aside to celebrate libraries.
Way back in 1955 a Gallup poll revealed that 61 percent of American adults had not read any books, except the Bible, in the preceding year. A coalition of publishers, booksellers, librarians and journalists, among others, came up with the idea of National Library Week. In the spring of 1958 the first National Library Week campaign was launched with the theme of “Wake Up and Read.”
Perhaps the earliest Library Week occurred in Toledo, Ohio, in 1916. Both Missouri and Indiana had implemented Book Weeks in 1922, and when the American Library Association met for its annual meeting in Detroit that year, it recommended setting up a week in April to promote libraries.
The Fairfax County Public Library has declared April 18, 2009, as “Library Appreciation Day.” During National Library Week, stop by your local library branch and let the staff and volunteers know how much you appreciate your library. You can post comments on a special display board or online.
Other events during National Library Week include the following events:
Read-a-thon. April 14, noon-2 p.m. Tysons Corner Center. For toddlers and preschoolers. A firefighter, police officer, children’s authors, Fairfax County Supervisor and other VIPs will read picture books to youngsters. Enjoy a visit from the Cat in the Hat.
Washington Post Columnist Eugene Robinson. April 16, Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center 7:30 p.m. (Tickets distributed at 7 p.m.) “Today’s News: Who’s Up, Who’s Down and What’s Really Going On?”