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Shelf Talk 29: National Library Week

The Mississippi County Library System (MCLS) is excited to celebrate National Library Week! We encourage you to come visit one of our branches this week and learn about the many services and resources we offer. The celebration begins tomorrow, April 4th, and runs through Saturday, April 10th.

National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.

“In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments,” explains the American Library Association (ALA). “Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee's goals were ambitious. They ranged from "encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time" to "improving incomes and health" and "developing strong and happy family life."

In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme "Wake Up and Read!" The 2018 celebration marked the 60th anniversary of the first event.”

This year’s theme, “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services,” ALA continues. “During the pandemic libraries have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their users. Whether people visit in person or virtually, libraries offer opportunities for everyone to explore new worlds and become their best selves through access to technology, multimedia content, and educational programs.”

Don’t miss out on the fun! Here are some ways to participate in National Library Week:

  • · Follow Mississippi County Library System on Facebook and Instagram, for updates about library books, services, and programs.

  • · Share what you love about the library! Tag us and use the #MyLibraryIs hashtag for a chance to win a Walmart gift card. Gift card winner will be announced April 12th.

  • · Visit your library! You are always welcome here. In addition to books, newspapers, and magazines, we have games to play, fish to watch, free computers and internet, and a beautiful space to relax and read. We’ll have special National Library Week activities for kids of all ages; stop by to see what we have to offer!

  • · Thank a library worker! MCLS staff work hard to serve our communities. Stop by the library to tell your favorite worker (or workers!) how much you appreciate them.

  • · Read up on the State of America’s Libraries 2021 Report. ALA will release this annual report Monday, April 5th; MCLS will post a copy on our website ( and social media pages.

Every year, National Library Week features an honorary chair who spotlights our nation’s libraries. This year, actress, author, and activist Natalie Portman is lending her star power to promote National Library Week 2021. A lifelong fan of books, she shares the books she’s reading on her Instagram feed, as part of Natalie Portman's Book Club, using the hashtag #whatnatreads…Natalie Portman’s ‘Fables’ is her debut picture book.

Natalie Portman is passionate when she talks about the essential role of libraries. “Libraries show us anything is possible by encouraging a love of learning, discovery, and exploration,” she says.

We agree.

The MCLS tagline, Enrich Your Life, emphasizes the difference libraries can make in communities.

Please join us in celebrating National Library Week by using our space, our services, and our resources.

If you have any ideas for ways to continue to improve the services and collections we provide to Mississippi County, reach out! As always, feel free to contact me at anytime with questions or suggestions.

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