National Library Week

library week

National Library Week Began in Youngstown: April 4-11, 1937

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Remember to visit your library in April to celebrate National Library Week designated by the American Library Association for April 7-13, 2019. This year’s ALA theme is, “Libraries=Strong Communities.” You can check out materials, use a computer, attend a program – and so much more!

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.