Library Snapshot Day takes place on ranging dates in the first half of the year. This year, it takes place on April 1. It is an engaging way to help capture the daily ongoings of libraries and the amount of support and appreciation they receive from communities. It involves sharing pictures, testimonials, and data on libraries to showcase their immeasurable impact on communities and society. It is a chance for libraries to reach out to their base for assistance and promote themselves as community pillars by sharing personal and statistical data on their influence.
History of Library Snap Shot Day
Library Snapshot Day began in New Jersey in 2007 to answer the question “What would happen if libraries went away, even for a day?” After the success of their inaugural celebrations, the New Jersey Library Association and the New Jersey State Library advocated it into a nationwide celebration in 2009. It is currently observed in 38 states across the United States.
It aims to showcase how important and valuable libraries are to communities and the roles that they play in providing a proper environment to read, learn, and generally get some peace from the outside world. It is an opportunity to tell the story of how many books are checked out every week, how many people are helped by the library in finding jobs, and how they help students replenish ammunition for their homework. Through Library Snapshot Day, stories and statistics are shared to communicate how impactful libraries are to the public.
Participants have used the results of various Library Snapshot Days to help advocate for government officials, media outlets, and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance and budgetary needs of libraries.
Much of this information is compiled by library associations and local governments across the country for use in further reports. The goal is to collect as much qualitative and quantitative data as possible to convince stakeholders to uphold funding and remind them of their impacts. Sometimes, a picture or a personal statement can prove to be more meaningful in convincing people than raw numbers. This information is also molded into library activities that can help attract more people into visiting and increase awareness. Libraries are a hotbed of activity and inspiration. It just takes one picture to tell the story.
Library Snap Shot Day timeline
Egypt's famous Library of Alexandria burns down, taking with it an irreplaceable collection of ancient knowledge.
The U.S. Library of Congress is established.
The American Library Association is founded.
The New Jersey Library Association and the New Jersey State Library initiate the first Library Snapshot Day.
Library Snap Shot Day FAQs
Is the library still relevant?
Libraries are far more than a place that holds books, some people come to read, watch films, use printing and copying services, or participate in regular activities, while some others come with their books or laptops to look for a nice, quiet place to spend their time. While library use has declined over the years, it is still a popular and important place for many.
How are libraries evolving?
Despite retaining the classic library look of old shelves and sturdy furniture, libraries have undergone modernization to keep up with present technologies which include featuring online materials, digitizing their collection, engaging with social media, and providing free computers and tablets for use.
Who invented the first library?
The first systematically organized library was established by Assyrian King Ashurbanipal in the 7th century B.C. and contained 30,000 cuneiform tablets organized by topic.
Library Snap Shot Day Activities
Take a picture of your local library
The best way to celebrate Library Snapshot Day is to, well, snap a shot of your local library. Let the world know of the exciting, knowledge-absorbing goings-on that's taking place in your library by posting a pic on your socials.
Listen to what your fellow library-goers have to say
Collect testimonials from your library-going friends or loved ones and listen to how they view the library in their lives. For many, the library is a sanctuary of books, knowledge, and tranquility. It will be interesting to know how much the library means to a lot of different people to promote awareness of just how important it is to communities.
Visit and engage with libraries
Visit your local library to see what it has to offer. Whether you are already a regular or simply someone who likes to read, the library can offer you a raft of nice activities and books waiting for you to dig in.
5 Interesting Facts About Famous Libraries
The Library of Congress' collection is unmatched
The U.S. Library of Congress is home to 171 million items and has the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, and sheet music.
Home to the world's oldest “Bible”
The Vatican Library is home to the oldest complete manuscript of the “Bible,” the “Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209,” written around the 4th century A.D.
The home of western civilization's defining document
The “Magna Carta” makes its home at the British Library.
An inclusive collection at an exclusive place
The library at Mount Athos, Greece is one of the most difficult libraries to access, as Mount Athos itself is only open to male visitors, by spiritual law.
The oldest library still operating
Al-Qarawiyyin Library in Fez, Morocco, is considered the oldest continually running library in the world, in operation since the 9th century.
Why We Love Library Snap Shot Day
Libraries can help encourage diversity
Reading one of the many books, periodicals, or magazines in your local library's collection can help expose you to different ideas and perspectives. In a way, libraries can help promote diversity in communities. Diversity can breed further understanding and tolerance, and in this world, we need these things even more.
Libraries provide a world of opportunities and wonder
The best thing about libraries is that different books, inspirations, and ideas are all accessible for free. In an ideal world, knowledge is something that should be easily available to everyone. Libraries offer a slice of that ideal world, at no cost, and there isn't anything that should stop you from diving in.
It spotlights the importance of libraries
Library Snapshot Day places the lens on the people who have benefitted from libraries and shows how much impact libraries have made in the lives of many people. These testimonies are crucial in bolstering appreciation for a place that tends to be forgotten.
Library Snap Shot Day dates