National Library Week April 15-21, 2007

National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries, librarians and library workers and to promote library use and support. National Librarian Workers Day is April 17th. April 19th is Support Teen Literature Day.

I visit my library often and I can’t think of a group of people that are more friendly and helpful than the staff at my library. I’m sure other libraries offer the same level of friendliness, but often low budgets prevent them from offering the same level of service that mine does.

In one part of Oregon, because of budget issues, a significant number of libraries are closing, putting essential services beyond the reach of many, including a friend of mine. In Pennsylvania where I was raised, the local library subsists on a budget of $39,000 a year, which along with state matching funds, is not enough to pay a full time librarian and still pay for utilities and other essentials. The library is only open 24 hours a week.

If you think of it, take some time and show your appreciation to your local library and librarians. For you readers, thank them for helping you find that certain book that keeps you up through the wee hours as you turn page after page. For you writers, thank them for the displays that highlight your book, or for the times they say to a patron, “If you like that book, you’ll probably like one by this author too”.

Send a card or stop in and say it personally. Either way, you can bet the gesture will be appreciated. Me, I’m sending flowers and a card.

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