Did you know that April 4 is National School Librarian Day and April 16 is National Librarian Day? These are both great opportunities to be thankful for all the help and knowledge that librarians provide. From children’s story-time to literacy classes, libraries offer a wealth of free public resources.
Most librarians have a Master’s Degree in Library Science. Librarians are dedicated professionals who work with complex cataloging systems to organize books, make purchasing decisions for their library, connect with local schools and universities, organize events and programming, teach classes, and more. Their role is constantly evolving to adapt to new technology and social needs.
Did You Know?
The first large libraries in the U.S. were mostly privately owned. They were only available to those who paid for memberships. The nation’s first U.S. Public Library 1790was actually established in 1790 by Benjamin Franklin! Franklin donated a collection of books to the town of Franklin, Massachusetts.
Public libraries serve more customers than movie theaters
In 2019, the average American adult took 10.5 trips to the public library and only five to a movie theater.
The concept of free public libraries took hold by the late 1800s. Another notable patron of public libraries was the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who funded the building of over 2,500 public and academic libraries worldwide, with 1,800 in the United States.
In the early 20th century, Melvil Dewey standardized library cataloging with what became known as the Dewey Decimal System. Afterwards, public libraries rapidly expanded with thousands of new branches across the country. By 1900, the scope of libraries also expanded, with many offering reference departments and inter-library loans. During the Great Depression, libraries served as a lifeline for struggling families seeking a cozy refuge and free entertainment.
Today, libraries remain hubs of education and study, while continuing to evolve to keep up with changing technology. New offerings include audiobooks, e-reader materials, free computer skills classes, music and video streaming, and access to free online resources for legal advice and job opportunities. Many public libraries offer language and citizenship classes, free access to computers and the internet, and free workshops on a variety of hobbies and life skills, like language learning classes. music and video streaming, and legal advice.
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Libraries are an important public service in an increasingly privatized world. National School Librarian Day and National Librarian Day celebrate these hard-working professionals who do so much to enrich all of us!