National Library Week was first celebrated March 16-22, 1958. To read more about the history of National Library Week, click here. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Libraries Lead.”
Public Libraries have been called the People’s University since Alvin Johnson made the argument in 1938. Today polls still show support for public libraries. “A new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data from fall 2016 finds that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation. (It is worth noting that the question wording specifically focused on use of public libraries, not on-campus academic libraries.)”
Although books of all kinds (print, audio, online) are still important, libraries are shifting away from places where you come to check items out. Libraries are also places to meet, to attend programs from preschool story hour to senior zumba, to learn how to make things on a 3-D printer, to have access to services from mental health to veteran’s outreach to tax assistance.
Do you use your public library? Why or why not? If you do use your public library, what do you use it for? Join in the conversation and share why you like/don’t like your public library.