National Library Week - Brief History / Overview

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From the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette

ALA Factsheet

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 nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – 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 “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!�


Friends of the Library Group Fingerprinted

From Sign-On San Diego comes a story of how the Friends of the Valley Center Library are none too pleased with the county requiring them to have background checks and be fingerprinted in downtown San Diego.

Library Bookstore Manager Jo Rudolph says ""Our volunteers are 70 and 80 years old in some cases," she said. "We have women that have volunteered here for 10, 20 and 30 years. Trying to find out if we are criminals or pedophiles at this late date is a little ridiculous. We raise money for the library and put books on the shelves. I doubt anyone here is a threat to children."



nbruce writes "Have you seen Nicholas Kristof's column (today March 17, not April 1, NYT and many other papers)? It makes me wonder if he keeps up on technology at all, or was he writing a parody to get ALA-ians in a froth? He's suggesting 1) a "hard-to-forge" national identity card (not impossible, just hard for anyone over 12 to forge), and 2) censorship of "cook-books" that tell how to create biological weapons and how to blow up neighborhoods to experience the thrill of power. He wants to ban books (has he never heard of the internet where most of this stuff roams free?) that have "little free speech value." That covers a lot of territory. Hoo-boy. We've got a "DOA at ALA" columnist, folks."


Game Theory and Libraries

An anonymous patron dropped by to share this mathematical tidbit: "Cool article on use of game theory in relation to libraries. Very original."

New Library Rejected by Room Full of Knitters

teaperson writes "The Christian Science Monitor has a story on the dying tradition of town meetings for governing New England's towns. Guilford, NH's citizens rejected funding for a new library at their final town meeting. But dying participation out over the allure of seeing voters in lederhosen."


Bowling Green State University Pop Culture Library to receive Raven Award

At the 58th annual Edgar Awards ceremony this April 29, the Mystery Writers of America will honor Bowling Green State University's Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies with a Raven Award for "commitment to preserve mystery fiction through a formidable and constantly growing collection of detective mystery novels and manuscripts."


Voters reject library expansion bond

truckingbeagle writes "Voters in Vancouver, WA voted tuesday on a bond measure that would have remodelled the 42 year old main library and built a new large library for the growing east side of Vancouver. While the bond measure drew just over 55% it required a 60% majority to pass. Opposition in recent weeks had objected to the use of library computers to view pornography. Read more about it here at The Columbian."


Libraries for teen mothers

North Kansas City High School provides a Teen Mothers Program through a partnership with First Baptist Church. "The Hive" daycare for the children of the teen moms participates once a month in story time at the public library.

The partnership continues the city's drive to tie community and schools together by further cementing the link between them and the children of these students. It attempts to help these young mothers develop an age-appropriate library for their children. Read more.


Nudist Library in Florida Celebrates 25th Anniversary As Literary Treasure

Gary Price writes

It doesn’t appear in travel guides or lists of offbeat destinations, but with books, magazines and other literary treasures dating back to the beginning of modern nudism, the American Nudist Research Library (ANRL) has been visited by scholars and historians from around the world. And, in 2004, nude recreation enthusiasts are urged to visit, as the ANRL Library celebrates its 25th anniversary at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Florida with a year of special events and activities. Read the full story here.


The Coming Great Divide?

TomeBoy pointed the way to Barbara Quint's Column in which she says combination of forces is putting pressure on the information profession. Oddly enough, one of the pressure points is ourselves and our "Open Access" movement.

"So what does this all mean? Fewer, Better Libraries run by Fewer, Better Librarians. And what about the rest of the profession? Where do they go for employment? Do they retreat to battle lines against the oncoming forces? Do they cling to children's reading rooms? Do they end up penning anti-digital diatribes for publication in print issues of the Flat World Monthly?"



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