Tomorrow, March 14 National Library Workers Day, and annual event celebrating library staff, users, administrators and friends groups. The day, created by a presidential resolution in 2003, recognizes the hard work, dedication, expertise and valuable contributions made by all library workers.
National Library Workers Day also coincides with Equal Pay Day, and individuals, groups and libraries are working together to advocate for better compensation for all library workers.
Why Are Libraries Important?
According to the American Library Association, public and academic librarians across the country answer nearly 6.6 million questions every week. And these questions aren’t just about book recommendations or how to use the card catalogs. Librarians help patrons answer questions about computer and internet training, job applications, resume writing, and filling out government forms, including tax and health insurance paperwork. Here are some other reason libraries are important:
• Despite what you may hear regarding the death of print books and the lack of interest in libraries, there are actually more public libraries in the U.S. than there are Starbucks.
• Libraries are free public spaces that allow everyone to feel safe and find opportunity. They play an essential role in providing accessible and 100% free educational resource centers for every member in communities across the country.
• Libraries are more than just storage spaces for books. They have become important cornerstones of a healthy community. They serve as centers for learning, professional development, public initiatives and meeting spaces for organizations trying to create change.
• Libraries offer unique and valuable resources. Reference material in public libraries are often unavailable elsewhere in the community.
• Libraries are gateways to community, providing new transplants and immigrants with helpful information about the local area and offering opportunities to learn new skills, meet new people and connect with the community.
Here’s How You Can Celebrate
So how can you celebrate National Library Workers Day? Our first idea is for any book lover and library visitor. Did you know library workers, managers and patrons can Submit a Star to honor a great worker, team or department? This is a great opportunity to submit your favorite library worker’s name for an honor that will let them know why you appreciate them.
Libraries can also use the day as an opportunity to send out an all-user or all-department emails to thank staff or colleagues for their excellence. Other ideas include organizing a potluck or meet-up to celebrate and support each other’s expertise and talent, and decorating staff spaces or sections within the library. Library managers can also host a get-together during break time to recognize the hard work that makes your library great.
For library patrons, consider making a monetary donation, or donate books to a library. And it’s always a nice idea to give a heartfelt “thank you” to library staff.