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National Library Week

I’m so glad that this week is my turn to write an article. It’s the best week to be a librarian. The ABSOLUTE BEST! Why?

It’s National Library Week!

Once a year, we take one week in April to celebrate libraries, library workers, and all things library related. Personally, I think this should be every week (because libraries are the best), but I’ll take what I can get.

This year, the theme is “Libraries Lead”, which is the truest of statements. I think the best way to illustrate this idea is through our school visits. Every couple of months, we have the fifth grade classes come by to check out books. This may not seem like a big deal, but there’s another story to tell with WHAT they check out. Kids check out books about farming, something their parents or grandparents do in order to learn why and how they do it. They check out books about sports heroes in order to emulate their favorite players, hoping that someday they will have their own book. They check out books about trailblazing women in history so they can see that they, too, can make a difference. They check out art books to hone their skills, Minecraft books to build digital worlds for them to lose themselves in, and books about subjugated people who rose up to defend their rights so they can see what they can do to help.

Without the library, those kids have to rely on biased media or parent suggestions to inform their decisions. Libraries give students an open and unfiltered view of the world. We help them form their own ideas about how the world should be. We are the last bastion for unfettered knowledge in all of its forms. We create future world leaders, future lawmakers, future doctors, lawyers, biologists, and, of course, librarians.

Think about your past. Think about your library experience and how it shaped you. Think about where you would be without your local library. I would love to hear your stories.

A final note: We are hosting a Chamber Coffee on Friday at 9:30 AM. Stop by and celebrate libraries with us with coffee, cookies, and good times!

Originally published in Chronicle Times April 11, 2018 by Zach Freking-Smith.

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.