National Library Week kicks off this week through April 15, and at the Chicago Public Library Foundation, we have much to celebrate.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week has grown with the Library institution and this year, we’re pleased to report the American Library Association (ALA) has continued its public awareness initiative ‘Libraries Transform.’
So what is this and how can you participate, you might be wondering?
National Library Week aims to draw attention to the important role of libraries in our social fabric by reminding us that:
- Libraries transform lives.
- Libraries transform communities.
- Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning.
- Libraries are a smart investment.
For those who may have the perception that libraries area obsolete ‘nice-to- haves’ we want to remind you that libraries are 21st century assets.
Here’s what we’re talking about (and spoiler, its not a debate on the Oxford comma). Libraries have evolved past solely giving the public access to books – but kept the same spirit they were founded in. Giving the public access.
In modern terms, you may be wondering what exactly that means.
At Chicago Public Library, with funding support from donors to the Chicago Public Library Foundation, it means a few things. It means giving Chicagoland kids access to 99,000 hours of after school homework help. It means delivering over 119,000 one-on-one computer training sessions, helping Chicagoans develop both complex and basic computer literacy skills. It means fostering teen curiosity though YOUmedia, creating next-generation leaders like Chance the Rapper and NoName. It means helping close to 1,000 Chicagoans secure new jobs and improve their quality of life in only the past year – and countless other 21st century must haves.
Libraries have always been a critical part of our communities, offering whatever is needed most to the public. Free of charge.
In case your short on ideas on ways to honor the holiday – try the following!
- Learn more about your local library’s programming and how it can enhance your life at chipiblib.org
- Thank a librarian or library worker on April 11th for “National Library Worker Day.”
- Commit to rereading the book, that made you fall in love with reading.
- Send us a shout-out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram on how you’re celebrating.
- Donate that extra coffee money to support the great works your local libraries brings to the city (and people) of Chicago.
To learn more about how your gifts to the Chicago Public Library Foundation support programs and services at the Chicago Public Library, visit our website. For more about the ALA’s initiative “Libraries Transform” visit their aptly named website: “I Love Libraries.”