National Library Week 2021: Welcome to Your Library!

This week (April 4 – 10) is National Library Week, a time dedicated to promoting the use of libraries and celebrating library workers and services!

You can read all about this annual celebration on on the American Library Association (ALA)’s website.

As this week’s official festivities come to a close, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the ways the Bell Library took part in celebrating this year. I will also share some resources and other ways you can show your support for libraries all year round!

Libraries give you wings!

If you’ve been on the second floor of the Bell Library, you may have seen something bright and colorful in the corner between Special Collections and Administration. These are our butterfly wings we created for anyone to take photos with!

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For this display, we were inspired by a post in the ALA’s Programming Librarian Interest Facebook Group, where another library created a butterfly mural using recycled book covers.

Piggybacking off this idea, our amazing student worker Grace Prusha designed the wings using photos of books that can be found in our Popular Reading section! With the help of the I-Create lab, we used the large format printer to print out these wings and put them on display.

Butterflies and wings can act as symbols of transformation and empowerment. These two aspects have been an important part of library advocacy, as libraries can transform and empower individuals and communities.

One example of this is the ALA’s Libraries Transform Campaign, an initiative “designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals.”

These wings will be up until Friday, April 16th, so you can still transform into a book butterfly (and show your support for libraries) into next week!

As a side note, if any of the book covers on the wings catch your eye, check out our Popular Reading section on the first floor of the library. You can also suggest books you would like to see added to this section using our Popular Reading suggestion form!

“Libraries work because we do”

Every Tuesday of National Library Week is National Library Workers Day, a day dedicated to all the people who keep libraries running.

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To celebrate this year, we shared a few photos of the awesome library workers who were in the building working that day to social media!

You can find ideas for supporting library workers on the National Library Workers Day website, along with this statement from last year about how you can protect the safety and wellbeing of library workers by following COVID-19 safety protocols while visiting the library.

Another important day in this week’s celebration is Thursday, or Take Action for Libraries Day, which encourages you to call on your elected officials and spread the word about the importance of library funding.

Share your library stories

During National Library Week, the ALA releases the State of America’s Libraries Report on the first day of the celebration. This year’s report is a special edition that focuses on the impacts and challenges of COVID-19, along with other important events that happened in the year 2020.

There are so many examples and stories of how libraries took on challenges and different roles in 2020 and I highly recommend reading it.

This year we also invited users to share what they love about their library to our Instagram stories. Below are some responses we received!

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Welcome to your library!

The theme chosen for this year’s celebration is “Welcome to Your Library” to emphasize the ways that libraries work to adapt so that they can meet the needs of all users and be welcoming to everyone.

Whether you are physically in our library or at home accessing us virtually, we want you to be able to use our services and receive help from us. One of the best ways to connect with and stay up to date with us is to follow us on social media!

Below is a list of all our channels:

As a final note, I challenge you to continue the celebration after today. In what ways can you show your support for libraries and library workers throughout the year?  

From thanking a library worker, to learning about advocacy initiatives, to using and promoting our services and events, there are so many ways to get involved beyond this week! 🦋

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