How to Celebrate Library Week 2024

In 1958, the National Book Committee launched National Library Week, an event designed to celebrate the positive impact of libraries and librarians. Director John S. Robling touted NLW as an opportunity to get people excited about reading. The first NLW was a rousing success, attracting thousands of newspaper stories, television appearances, and mentions on national radio shows.

Eventually, the NBC folded, prompting the American Library Association to take over NLW in 1974. Although the ALA had little time to plan NLW 1975, organizers managed to connect with more than 3,500 newspapers and convince major television stars to record promo pieces. Since then, NLW has been an annual event, giving library professionals a chance to increase awareness of all the good that libraries do. 

For April 2024, the NLW theme is "Ready, Set, Library!" Here's what to expect, along with a list of ideas to help libraries and patrons celebrate.

National Library Week 2024: What to Expect

The "Ready, Set, Library!" theme emphasizes the role of libraries in unlocking new adventures and opportunities. With income inequality on the rise, it's more important than ever for community members to have a place to go for information and skill development. Books, internet access, free classes, and other library resources help patrons expand their horizons.

Due to an increase in the number of challenged books throughout the country, it's also important for library professionals to advocate for freedom of thought. The objective for NLW 2024 is to remind people that libraries open a portal to extraordinary experiences.

This year, Meg Medina is the honorary chair for National Library Week. Medina, a recipient of the John Newberry Medal and the Pura Belpré Award for Writing, is a children's book author who uses her writing to celebrate Latino culture. She is also the 2023-2024 National Ambassador of Young People's Literature. Medina is the author of the highly acclaimed Merci Suárez  series, along with the picture books Mango, Abuela, and Me and Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away.

Daily Activities Breakdown for National Library Week

Monday, April 8: Right to Read Day

Right to Read Day is a day of action for people who love books and believe that everyone has the right to decide what they read. Take part in Right to Read Day by holding panel discussions, scheduling a reading marathon, or issuing a public statement against censorship. 

On the first Right to Read Day in 2023, the ALA released a list of the most challenged books in 2022. Gender Queer: A Memoir, All Boys Aren't Blue, The Bluest Eye, and Flamer topped the list. Celebrate this year's event by encouraging participants to read some of the most challenged books in the United States.

This is also a great time to review the ALA's State of America's Libraries Report, which highlights some of the current challenges associated with working in a library. According to the report, legislators in several states have passed laws putting librarians at risk of criminal prosecution simply for making a broad range of reading materials available to patrons.

Tuesday, April 9: National Library Workers Day

National Library Workers Day is all about honoring the staff members who make libraries an important community resource. For libraries with a limited budget, focus on opportunities to let employees relax and feel appreciated. Also consider asking visitors to write about their positive experiences and share them during the event.

Another option is to feature employees on your social media pages. Publishing interviews, profiles, and other pieces is a great way to draw attention to the positive contributions of your team members. Be sure to include plenty of photos and videos.

Wednesday, April 10: National Library Outreach Day

NLW isn't just for connecting with avid readers. It's also about encouraging nonreaders to enjoy the benefits of reading and using library resources. Therefore, the ALA is promoting April 10 as National Library Outreach Day. Now is the time to connect with people who may not come to the library often—or at all.

Outreach requires connecting with community members, and one of the best ways to do this is by holding an open house or even taking a mobile library around the neighborhood. Libraries can also engage and build relationships with young people by collaborating with local school administrators to hold events on their campuses. Finally, it may even be able to set up a booth at a community center or social club. The more outreach events happening, the more opportunities there are to spread the word about your library.

If it isn't possible to hold events outside the library, try setting up an online interactive event. With a website and a few digital tools, virtual tours, Q&A sessions, book readings, and more are possible.

Thursday, April 11: Take Action for Libraries Day

The week concludes with Take Action for Libraries Day, which focuses on library advocacy. Now is the perfect time to host letter-writing events, conduct online advocacy drives, or organize visits to lawmakers. The purpose of these activities is to urge Congress to protect reading freedoms. If you decide to host a letter-writing event, have someone with policy experience draw up a template for participants to follow.

Reflecting on National Library Week's Impact

National Library Week will be over before you know it, but it has a lasting impact on readers and nonreaders alike. Participating in these events can help emphasize the importance of libraries by making people aware of what they offer and convince lawmakers to protect important freedoms.

To make an even greater impact, continue these initiatives beyond NLW. Year-round advocacy makes it possible to increase community engagement and foster an ongoing commitment to literacy.

e-ImageData has partnered with dozens of libraries for their microfilm scanning needs. Reach out to our team to learn more about elevating your record-keeping.

Latest Posts



Join Our Newsletter