Celebrating National Library Week

Platteville community members and university students comment on the value of libraries.

Elizabeth Kaiser graphic

Elizabeth Kaiser graphic

The week of April 7-13, 2019 is National Library Week, a time to celebrate and appreciate libraries across the world and all they do to serve their communities.

According to the American Library Association (ALA) website, National Library Week is “an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming and strengthening our communities.”

The theme for this year’s National Library week is “Libraries = Strong Communities.” This theme, according to the ALA, was chosen to show how libraries today are at the center and heart of cities, towns, schools and college campuses.

“Libraries themselves hold a significance in society where they act as a catalyst for like-minded individuals to gather. They are a resource that anyone can access openly and take advantage of what they have to offer. Not only are they a gathering place, but they are also a place where people can potentially teach themselves the importance of being well-informed and educated,” senior building construction safety management major Danby Hang said.

They serve to provide resources, programs and knowledge to those who are seeking information and community.

“As a librarian, we are public servants. I believe we are here to help people find whatever they need, whether that is books, music, movies or a sense of community,” library specialist – children’s services at the Platteville Public Library Lydia Sigwarth said.

Celebrating libraries is a way to bring groups together to raise awareness of community values and celebrate the positive impacts that come of those values. The ALA encourages individuals to show support to and celebrate their libraries in three different ways.

(1) Visit the library; pay a visit to the public library or the school library. Libraries across the county are hosting celebratory events and may have new displays for patrons to check out.

“Libraries help me gain knowledge to apply to my major curriculum through books and articles. They also further enrich my academic career by allowing me to have access to the tools I need to be a well-rounded student in areas that do not apply to my major,” freshman biology with a pre-physician assistant major Mikayla Onken said.

(2) Share a library story. Libraries mean so many different things to different people, so sharing your story is a great way to support and celebrate the community.

“To me, libraries are a sense of community, an entrance into a wealth of knowledge and a gateway into an abundance of realities, worlds and cultures” senior history and political science major Winifred Redfearn said.

(3) Show support for libraries through the use of social media. Many libraries, including the ALA, have hashtags to go along with their social media. Be sure to follow your libraries on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and consider using the hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LirariesTransform to support National Library Week.