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Library and Information Services Month – November 2023

We are celebrating Library and Information Services Month throughout November. It is a month-long celebration that started in the Philippines in 1991 with the Presidential Proclamation 837 series of 1991. The purpose of the month is to raise awareness and public interest in the importance and valuable services provided by libraries and other information centers. Activities during the month are coordinated by the National Library of the Philippines (N.L.P.) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts – National Committee on Libraries and Information Services (N.C.C.A.-N.C.L.I.S.)

History of Library and Information Services Month

We are going through the age of information. The modern world is powered by information technology. Those with the most knowledge lead the world. But, that was not always the case. During the early days of human civilization, people were occupied mainly with the need for survival. As society progressed and human settlements became more established, systems of communicating and writing became necessary. The more complex human society became, the greater the need for knowledge. This, in turn, gave birth to written languages, where information was inscribed on stone tablets, parchment, and scrolls and shared with the community, then passed down to the next generation. Over time, written languages began to emerge.
Sanskrit, Tamil, and Egyptian are among the first systematic languages, developed between 3000 B.C. and 300 B.C. We started using them to record and pass down information.

Languages were not only used for information, but the demand for the writing of stories, poems, and literature flourished. People started to record things, and others learned to read everything they could. Reading also became popular, with the release of new books and information. In the 18th century, the accumulation of knowledge and technology was so vast it led to the Industrial Revolution, which continues through to the present. World-class libraries began to appear throughout various cultures. The era of science arose through the development of information centers like these libraries.

The Philippines understood the importance of libraries and exchanging information. To appreciate the importance of the services provided by libraries and other information centers, they declared the month of November as Library and Information Services Month in 1991.

Library and Information Services Month timeline

700 B.C.
First Organized Library

The first organized library is discovered in Nineveh and named after Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian ruler, and it contains approximately 30,000 cuneiform tablets.

285 – 246 B.C.
Library Of Alexandria

The great library of Alexandria is thought to contain as many as 400,000 scrolls from all over the world.

830 A.D.
Bayt Al-Hikmah

Baghdad establishes one of its world-famous libraries, Bayt al-Ḥikmah which means ‘House of Wisdom.’

Project Gutenberg

American writer Michael S. Hart establishes the oldest digital library through Project Gutenberg.

Library and Information Services Month FAQs

What do libraries in the Philippines celebrate for November?

Library and Information Services.

What is the main purpose of a library?

The primary purpose of the public library is to provide resources and services to meet the needs of individuals and groups for education, and personal development.

Who was the first librarian?

The first recorded librarian was Zenodotus of Ephesus. He was a Greek grammarian and a literary critic.

Library and Information Services Month Activities

  1. Visit a library

    Visiting a library is the best thing to do this month. Rekindle the joy of reading books and learning new information.

  2. Take a friend to the library

    Reading is one of the best pastimes, but not everyone understands this. Take a friend who does not usually read to the library and show them how entertaining and informative the whole process can be.

  3. Read a book in a week

    Challenge yourself to finish a book in a week. Choose your favorite genre and start reading now.

5 Facts About Libraries That You Should Know

  1. Library specific handwriting

    There is a specific handwriting style for librarians, and it is called Library hand.

  2. Bats and books

    The Joanina Library at the University of Coimbra in Portugal uses bats to control pests that attack books.

  3. Largest library

    The Library of Congress in Washington is the world's largest library.

  4. Most stolen book

    “The Guinness Book of World Records” ironically holds the record for being the most stolen book from public libraries.

  5. Multinational library

    The Haskell Free Library and Opera House are shared by both the U.S. and Canada, and it straddles the border.

Why We Love Library and Information Services Month

  1. Reading is learning

    Reading is an important hobby for many people. It can help inspire people to discover new information. Even if it is a book telling children's folklore, it can still teach valuable lessons.

  2. It spreads the importance of reading

    We love reading, and we love it even better when we can spread the importance of reading. This is a month when many people start their reading journey, and we love it.

  3. It’s a commitment to information

    Reading is learning. No matter how silly or simple a book you are reading may seem, it still contains a few pieces of information that you never knew or realized. Committing a month to reading is like learning new information throughout the month.

Library and Information Services Month dates

2023November 1Wednesday
2024November 1Friday
2025November 1Saturday
2026November 1Sunday
2027November 1Monday
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