Off the Shelf: Libraries = Strong Communities

By Sharon Saye on April 03, 2019 from Off the Shelf via Connect-Bridgeport.com

The Bridgeport Public Library will be participating in National Library Week from April 7 – 13, 2019.  It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and library workers as well as promote library use and support.  From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries offer opportunity to all.  The theme for 2019 is “Libraries = Strong Communities.”  Melinda Gates will serve as 2019 National Library Week Honorary Chair.   
 
National Library Week was first celebrated in 1958 and is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
 
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 in 1974.
         
This is an opportunity to visit your public library and take advantage of all of its resources to make your life richer and your community stronger.
 



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