National Library Week/Ohio Library Week April 4-10

Remember to visit your library in April to celebrate National Library Week designated by the American Library Association for April 4-21, 2021. This year’s theme is: “Welcome to Your Library!”

Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman, Academy Award-winning actress, director, producer, author, and activist is the honorary chair of National Library Week 2021.  A lifelong fan of books, Portman is an avid reader and often shares what she is reading on her Instagram feed, as part of Natalie Portman’s Book Club, using the hashtag #whatnatreads. Born in Jerusalem, Israel, she is a graduate of Harvard University and just recently released her debut picture book – “Natalie Portman’s Fables.”

The American Library Association, which has sponsored National Library Week since 1958, noted: “During the pandemic, library workers continue to exceed their communities’ demands and adapt resources and services to meet their users’ needs during these challenging times. Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer endless opportunities to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.”

The History of National Library Week – It Began in Youngstown, Ohio

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.



Consider celebrating National Library Week with a donation to your library!

You Love Your Library and you want to give back during National Library Month!
Your donation can help with important needs, such as:
Patron Technology – WIFI Hotspots, Launch Pads
Children – Books for the Summer Discover Program, STEM Kits
Supplies for Cooking Classes or Makerspace materials, Bus Passes for patrons to come to the Library
Business Plan and License Application Fees for new entrepreneurs
Staff Education Fund or employees of color for degrees and certification

Go to or mail your check to:
Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County
c/o National Library Week Campaign
305 Wick Avenue
Youngstown, OH 44503

For information: Deborah Liptak, Development Director, at 330-740-6086