National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities. This year’s week was marked April 4-10.

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!” The 2018 celebration marked the 60th anniversary of the first event.

The ALA Allied Professional Association is a nonprofit organization chartered in the State of Illinois for the purpose of promoting “the mutual professional interests of librarians and other library workers.” The ALA-APA is a companion organization to the ALA, an educational association chartered in the State of Massachusetts to “promote library service and librarianship.”

For more information about National Library Workers Day visit ala-apa.org/nlwd .

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