With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, National Library Week 2020 embraces a digital platform
Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) hosts National Library Week. As our world turns more virtual than ever, ALA, along with librarians, publishers and industry professionals across the nation are shifting our celebrations to accommodate the digital world.
This week is traditionally one of the times libraries host a plethora of in-house programming, inviting readers from all over their communities to enjoy the library and learn about what it has to offer. The theme for this year’s National Library Week was Find Your Place at the Library. Unfortunately, as many of us have found our place at home over the past few weeks, ALA needed to adjust its message.
The updated theme for this year’s National Library Week is Find the Library at Your Place. There are many ways libraries and librarians have been bringing the library to their communities—and there are just as many ways for you to support your library from your home!
Celebrate National Library Week 2020 by sharing what you love about your library and the virtual services it offers! Remember to tag your local library!
Take Action for Libraries
Thursday, April 23, is Take Action for Libraries. With the current administration threatening federal funding, ALA introduced Take Action for Libraries Day as an advocacy effort to support libraries and museums. Learn more here. Download Libby
If you don’t already have the Libby app, you’ll want to download it ASAP! This fabulous app lets you borrow e-books and audiobooks from your local branch. You just need your library card number to sign up!
As libraries make the digital shift, many are introducing virtual programming and additional resources for readers. How-to videos, virtual crafting sessions, and new podcasts are emerging as librarians creatively deal with the pandemic’s influence on their work.
In addition, some libraries are celebrating National Library Week by recognizing staff members on social media. The Olean Public Library (NY) began its campaign on Sunday, introducing staff members with their name, a description, and a photo with them and their favorite book of course!
Staff from the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, which the Olean Public Library is a part of, are also turning their hours into an online chat service.
“Patrons can ask us the same reference questions they would ask in person at the reference desk—renewing cards, re-setting PIN numbers, looking for books and journal articles on specific topics,” said Stephanie Beneng, a library assistant at the Olean Public Library.
Libraries have also continued to service patrons by using curbside pickup. In the same way people order food from a restaurant, they can order books to pick up at the library. The Dakota County Public Library (MN), in addition to curbside pickup, has also instituted a Books By Mail service for readers who are unable to visit the library and use the curbside pickup service.
On an individual level, librarians are coping with the pandemic by hosting online story times, Q&As with authors, and even organizing virutally.
Sharon Moore, a librarian at a psychiatric center, is working from home, but her assistant is still in the library. So Moore is working on virtual reclassification of their collection with help from her colleague.
Amy Marciniak, a school librarian, is planning to host read-aloud times with her students, reading chapter books and helping children engage with new literature even when they aren’t in school.
“We’ve been reaching out to general education teachers with websites for free books or resources,” Marciniak said. “(But) I plan to be doing Google Hangouts so my students can join, and it can be like a live or interactive book club.”
However you choose to celebrate 2020’s National Library Week, remember to Find the Library at Your Place—and to say #ThankYouLibraries (and librarians!) for all they do for our communities.