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Home / National Library Week

national library week15National Library Week Began in Youngstown

Did you know that National Library Week, celebrated in April each year by the American Library Association (ALA), had its beginnings in Youngstown in 1937?

Before there was a “National” Library Week, the Youngstown Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) decided to do something special: proclaim a week to stress how important reading was in people’s lives. They set aside the week of April 4-11, 1937, to make the public aware of the importance of their libraries, with the help of community organizations and local news media.

As a result of this campaign, local libraries saw in increase in circulation and in the number of people applying for a library card. Because of this success, the Jaycees were praised at a national meeting and captured the attention of the American Library Association.

It wasn’t until 1958 that the first full-scale National Library Week took place with the ALA. President Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation and libraries throughout the country saw their usage rise. The following year, the ALA voted to make this an annual event.

Visit your local library in April - check out a book or audio book or a movie, attend a program, have a latte, do your homework, attend a meeting. You can even use the Internet. And at the Library, it comes with the Ultimate Search Engine - Your Librarian!

Visit the American Libraries Association website for more information...

Did You Know?

reading book1. The United States has more public libraries than McDonald’s.

2. U.S. libraries circulates more items every day than FedEx ships packages (5.4 vs. 5.3 million).

3. U.S. public library cardholders outnumber Amazon customers by almost 5 to 1.

4. Americans go to libraries more than twice as often as they go to movies.

5. Americans spend more than three times as much on salty snacks as they do on public libraries.

6. Libraries hold 16 billion books worldwide.

7. Libraries record more than 1.1 billion visits each year, compared to 204 million sports tickets sold in a year.

8. Students visit school library media centers almost 1.5 billion times during the school year.

9. Americans spend 7 times as much money on home video games as they do on school library materials for their children.

10. College & university librarians answered 97 million reference questions.

Source: ALA 2004, figures for 2003