Let’s Celebrate National Library Week!

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The American Library Association has celebrated National Library Week every year since 1958, and this year Book Riot wanted to take the opportunity to spend a week talking about what libraries mean to us, how to get the most out of your public library, and why libraries deserve your patronage and support (we’re also giving away a Kindle so you can read digital loans from your library, NDB).

The theme of this year’s NLW is “Libraries Lead,” and the chair is (amazing, talented, beautiful) ballerina Misty Copeland, the first African American woman ever named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.

Americans are library users. 46% of adults report visiting public libraries or bookmobiles, with millennials being the generation most likely to have done so (53%, as opposed to 45% of Gen Xers or 43% of Baby Boomers). This feels especially important—younger adults realize the value of libraries, and will continue to use them. However, only 8% of millennials, 9% of Gen Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers use library apps—if getting to the library is an obstacle for you, see if they have an app you can use for digital loans! There’s even a Chrome extension that will tell you if your local library has a book that you’re looking up on Amazon.

Libraries aren’t just a place to find free books. They’re increasingly community gathering spaces, resources for digital education and useful classes, places to borrow everything from tools to cooking utensils, spaces for concerts and readings, and more. They’re spaces where marginalized readers can come to find acceptance and books that reflect their experience. They can be life-saving. As we evolve culturally, so do our libraries, in order to best serve communities.

So, go to your library. Get a library card. And stay tuned around here this week for some real library love (and watch our YouTube channel where we’ll also be chatting all things libraries).

 

The Librarian Workout

I was tackling the *super* fun job of shifting books at my library (i.e. moving books from one shelf to the next forever and ever), and my student aide was complaining the whole time: “Ugh, my arms are so tired!” “I’m legit sweating!” “If I knew I’d have to work this hard, I would have been a front office aide!” And my only response (other than rolling my eyes) was, “Hey man, working in a library isn’t for the weak.” And it’s true! Not only do you have to be a powerhouse of organization, a master researcher, and part-time mind-reader...Continue Reading

Libraries As a Constant

"Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future." —Ray Bradbury Libraries are part of my past, my present, and my future. They have been, regardless of how many places I've lived or traveled, a constant. I've moved around a decent amount in my life. Overall, when I stop to count, it's over 15 cities (and I'm 31). The places and people could change. Sometimes even the major language. But libraries were everywhere, and they were something I always remember understanding. My mom is responsible for this. (Thanks, mom!) She was, and is, a very big proponent...Continue Reading

I Was the Library Ghost

Occasionally, my friends and I joke about being ghosts. What places would we haunt? Unsurprisingly as a Rioter, the answer is simple: the library. However, as I say this, I remember that I was in fact a living library ghost. I haunted my middle school library. Like most middle schoolers, I was a bit lost. I wasn’t sure who I was or who I wanted to be. On top of that, there were bullies, friend troubles, and terrifying teachers. Middle school isn’t exactly the best time for most people. But there was our school library. It wasn’t huge, but it...Continue Reading

Donate To EveryLibrary In Honor of National Library Week

It's National Library Week here in the U.S. In addition to highlighting the power of the library throughout the week here at Book Riot, we wanted to also raise awareness of—and funds for—an organization doing good on behalf of libraries throughout the country.   What Is EveryLibrary? EveryLibrary is an organization that serves libraries of all varieties—school, public, college—by helping them win bonds, tax referendums, and stable funding through on-the-ground, local political action. This non-partisan organization's goal is to sustain libraries for the communities in which they exist. Where Does The Money Go? Funds raised by EveryLibrary are used to...Continue Reading

5 Ways To Love Your Local Librarian

Libraries have always been magical places for me, and over my past ten years as a kindergarten and first grade teacher, I’ve always viewed the school library as a sacred place. When the chance to work as a librarian (at the elementary school that has housed me for almost a decade!) arose, I uncharacteristically let administration know that I would do anything to get the spot. With a little luck and a lot of library magic, the job became mine. Now I have the strange privilege of working with former students and longtime colleagues, most of whom know about my...Continue Reading

The Magic of Investing in a New Library

Last January, I was in my hometown and my dad suggested we go to the new library. He wasn't sure if we'd be able to find it in the new complex, but luckily a librarian was loading up a cart from the book drop-off and we were able to follow her in.  “I don’t know if it’ll be open,” my dad said. "It will be," I answered, my heart fluttering up facts from more than five years ago. "It's open until 5:00 on Saturdays." Growing up, my library was a magical place. My mom brought me every two weeks, and...Continue Reading

A Roundup of Fierce Fictional Librarians

"You want weapons? We're in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!" —Doctor Who, "Tooth and Claw," Season 2 We're celebrating libraries and their champion guardians this week. Therefore, I've rounded up some of the coolest librarians in fiction. They fight crime, they possess knowledge that ranges from useful to impressive, and they look good doing it. Did I include your favorite? Rupert Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Everyone's favorite Watcher will always be my favorite fictional librarian. No only does Giles know everything about everything, he's...Continue Reading

Random Observations of a Former Fine Arts Library Page

I grew up in my town's local library. It was small, but they had Goosebumps and other excellent series, and that's all my ten-year-old self needed. Even at 22, I still feel the same sense of awe upon entering pretty much any library. But it's not just because I love books and the sight of stacks of them gets my heart pounding. Really, it's kind of amazing that libraries exist these days, in a world where everything good seems to come with a catch. Though recent White House budget cuts suggest that not everything is what it seems when it comes to library...Continue Reading

Genderqueerness in the Library

“If you feel like your gender is like a dinosaur, you could make a dinosaur!” a volunteer was explaining to a small child. It was a Saturday morning in October 2017, and the craft tables that had been pushed side-by-side at the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) overflowed with paper, stickers, and markers. Glittering banners hung from the ceiling, and a quiet corner had been set up where a few kids were deep in the independent reading zone. It was a harmonious commotion of color, laughter, and creative concentration that I remembered perfectly from my own childhood weekends at the library....Continue Reading

Keeping Your Personal Library Collection…at the Public Library

If you've ever dreamed of having the Beast's library (you know the one), well, have I got a revelation: you already DO! Your public library is an entire building of books which belong to the community, so you also own those library books. Every time you drive passed the building you can think, "There are my books." The library's goal is to serve the community members, which means this is for YOU! via GIPHY (Me at the public library.) They have people there to re-shelve your books so you can find them again for a reread, and others to select...Continue Reading

Support Your Library During National Library Week

National Library Week (April 8–14) will be observed this year with the theme "Libraries Lead." The theme is relevant and important because in this digital age that is saturated with the pestilence of fake news and unending propaganda, libraries continue to lead and demonstrate that they are the cornerstone of democracy in our communities. To quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Libraries are essential to the functioning of a democratic society. Libraries are the great symbol of freedom of the mind." Let us never forget that libraries are community builders, community centers for diverse populations, a center for the arts, a...Continue Reading

Kindle Fire Giveaway for National Library Week!

Wishlist upcoming releases you're dying to read. Get exclusive podcasts and newsletters. Enter to win swag. Do it all when you join Insiders—and between April 15 and 30, you can get a free 2-week trial for Novel Monthly or Annual! This week is the American Library Association's National Library Week, and we're partying hard in celebration. As part of our Muppet-arming for libraries this week, we're giving away a 16GB Kindle Fire HD 8! Most public libraries offer digital ebook and audiobook downloads via an app of their choice (we're partial to Libby), and most of them allow you to send the...Continue Reading

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