National Library Week will be observed April 18 - 24, 2004.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nationâ€™s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries â€“ school, public, academic and special â€“ participate.
Many school libraries also celebrate the month of April as School Library Media Month sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of ALA, with the same theme as 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 American Library Association 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 â€œencouraging people to read in their increasing leisure timeâ€? to â€œimproving incomes and healthâ€? and â€œdeveloping strong and happy family life.â€? 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 â€œWake Up and Read!â€?