National Library Day is celebrated every year on 6 April. The celebrations are a part of National Library Week, organized by the American Library Association. Throughout the week, and especially on this day, people come together to celebrate the crucial roles that libraries and librarians play in our society. It’s also the day to reflect on the importance of reading and how essential it is to make books accessible and affordable for every reader. A well-stocked library can introduce readers to many new worlds, and helps them become more informed citizens. Libraries are also great community spaces where people can gather to exchange ideas and learn together.
History of National Library Day
Alongside the Advertising Council, the American Library Association announced the first National Library Week in 1958. Since then, libraries have become an essential part of American communities, and they remain key institutions despite the development of the internet and ebooks. Libraries aren’t a new concept — it dates back millennia. The first systematically organized library was founded in the 7th century B.C. by Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal in Nineveh, in contemporary Iraq. It contained approximately 30,000 cuneiform tablets sorted by subject.
Since their inception, almost every great civilization has built libraries. They became great repositories of knowledge, and a few ancient libraries live on even today. The goal of these libraries was to collect knowledge and distribute it for its use in everyday life. Special importance was given to books on agriculture, architecture, medicine, art, manufacturing, war, and topics concerning the betterment of life. As the years went by, people realized the benefits of having publicly accessible centers of knowledge, and libraries became an important feature in cities and towns across the world.
As the influence of the Internet grew, many believed that there would no longer be a need for libraries, but history has proved otherwise, as libraries continue to flourish and are now more popular than ever! Not everything can be found on the Internet, and a good amount of information is still available only on paper, and despite the convenience of the world wide web, people still like to physically visit a library and spend time among books and other readers.
National Library Day timeline
Libraries start to become an important part of educational institutions.
The royals in Europe start to keep book collections for private use.
Libraries in free countries of the world become government properties.
Community libraries are founded at public expense.
National Library Day FAQs
Is April National Library Month?
April is National School Library Month, and April 4 to 10 is National Library Week.
Why do we celebrate National Library Week?
National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.
What is a national library?
A national library is a library specifically established by the government of a country to serve as the preeminent repository of information for that country.
National Library Day Activities
Get a library membership
Celebrate National Library Day by getting a membership at your local library. Also encourage your friends, family, colleagues, and children to get their own memberships.
You can also celebrate National Library Day by donating books to your local libraries. You can donate new books, give away old copies, or even purchase ebooks on behalf of your local libraries.
Thank a librarian
A library is nothing without its librarians. They keep stock of the books, help readers find the resources they need, and of course, always greet us with warm smiles. Remember to thank a librarian for everything that they do on National Library Day.
5 Interesting Facts About Libraries
Benjamin Franklin started a lending library
It was also one of the oldest libraries in America.
Andrew Carnegie was a great patron
He helped open 2,509 libraries across the world and 1,679 libraries in America.
Library fines add up to extraordinary amounts
In 2016, the San Jose Public Library reported $6.8 million in late fees.
Libraries also offer free music
They do so by having access to music streaming platforms.
They are big employers too
There are approximately 1,85,000 librarians in America.
Why We Love National Library Day
It keeps libraries thriving
Celebrations such as National Library Day ensure that our libraries continue to thrive despite the influence of the internet. These celebrations also bring thousands of new patrons to libraries every year.
For the love of reading
Anyone who loves reading also loves National Library Day. It’s the best way to ensure that everyone has access to good books and that future generations continue to buy and read books.
It builds communities
Libraries are also an important part of our community. People of all ages can visit their local library to read, work, find resources, and spend time with like-minded readers. National Library Day helps keep our communities alive.
National Library Day dates