Let’s Celebrate National Library Week!

The American Library Association has celebrated National Library Week every year since 1958, and this year Book Riot wanted to take the opportunity to spend a week talking about what libraries mean to us, how to get the most out of your public library, and why libraries deserve your patronage and support (we’re also giving away a Kindle so you can read digital loans from your library, NDB).

The theme of this year’s NLW is “Libraries Lead,” and the chair is (amazing, talented, beautiful) ballerina Misty Copeland, the first African American woman ever named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.

Americans are library users. 46% of adults report visiting public libraries or bookmobiles, with millennials being the generation most likely to have done so (53%, as opposed to 45% of Gen Xers or 43% of Baby Boomers). This feels especially important–younger adults realize the value of libraries, and will continue to use them. However, only 8% of millennials, 9% of Gen Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers use library apps–if getting to the library is an obstacle for you, see if they have an app you can use for digital loans! There’s even a Chrome extension that will tell you if your local library has a book that you’re looking up on Amazon.

Libraries aren’t just a place to find free books. They’re increasingly community gathering spaces, resources for digital education and useful classes, places to borrow everything from tools to cooking utensils, spaces for concerts and readings, and more. They’re spaces where marginalized readers can come to find acceptance, and books that reflect their experience. They can be life-saving. As we evolve culturally, so do our libraries, in order to best serve communities.

So, go to your library. Get a library card. And stay tuned around here this week for some real library love (and watch our YouTube channel where we’ll also be chatting all things libraries).

10 Books for Library Lovers

This post is sponsored by The Card Catalog, compiled by Library of Congress, with a foreword by Carla Hayden. The Library of Congress brings book lovers an enriching tribute to the power of the written word and the history of our most beloved books. Featuring more than 200 full-color images of original catalog cards, first edition book covers, and photographs from the library's archives, this is a visual celebration of rarely seen treasures and the brilliant catalog system that has kept it organized for hundreds of years. Packed with facts on literary classics—from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat...Continue Reading

A Library Wedding, in Detail

My first post for Book Riot was about getting married in a library, and in honour of National Library Week I wanted to revisit that day and share more details about our bookish wedding. Because you see, it wasn't just that we got married in a library - the entire wedding was library themed. The book arch was already featured in the original post, but there were a few other details that I didn't write about in the first post. So if you're getting married any time soon and are after some bookish ideas for weddings and want to make some...Continue Reading

Authors’ Love Letters to Public Libraries

In 2011 I was the Teen Librarian in a public library in Nova Scotia, Canada. That same year, the library was poised to celebrate its 10th birthday. I had recently read an article about a librarian who had written to authors in 1971 asking them to write to the children of her library and explain why reading is important. I decided to steal that idea and write to as many authors as I could, asking them if they'd write me back to wish our library a happy birthday and tell the teens in our area why libraries are so important....Continue Reading

I Love My Librarian: Romances in Library Land

It’s National Library Week, and what better way to show our love for librarians that to enjoy some librarians in love! Some work in public libraries, some in academic. One is a personal librarian for a wealthy young gentleman. Beyond, there are library assistants and bookmobile drivers, all working their way through life in hopes of giving the world a little more information. There’s one thing they have in common, though: they love their work. Here are a few recent favorites: Taking the Heat, Victoria Dahl When we first meet Veronica, she is having a bit of a freakout. Her...Continue Reading

“I Can’t Return It if I Haven’t Read It” : Library Myths Busted!

I grew up in libraries. I lived half a block from our town's public library, and, when my parents deemed me old enough, I would walk up there first thing in the morning or in the closing minutes each night. I operated under some truths I learned from being a library brat, like you can check out tons of books for free (except fines, of course). But, like many members of the public, I had myths and misconceptions about libraries and librarians. It wasn't until I started library science graduate school, interning, volunteering, and networking with other library professionals that I realized...Continue Reading

Open, Inclusive, Diverse, Free: Libraries Are for Everyone

There is a fantastic new movement out there in library-land: Libraries are for everyone. The theme of this year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) is Build a Better World and librarian Rebecca McCorkindale of Hafuboti created some images to make the theme more diverse and inclusive. Additional brainstorming and collaboration with other librarians about National Library Legislative Day led to ‘Libraries for everyone’, a series of images that really drive home the message: it doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity you are, what language you speak, whom you love, whom you worship, or where you are from. Libraries are for...Continue Reading

Coffee Cups and Time Capsules: Cool Things in Public Libraries

It is probably clear to anyone who has visited a public library in recent memory that libraries are no longer just about books and reading. Sure, the books are there, and for the vast majority of public libraries, their collections remain an important resource for many. But they are far more than that, and are increasingly becoming spaces for community, social interaction, creativity, and collaboration. Fellow Book Rioter Lucas Maxwell recently wrote about five ways to have fun in the library besides reading. In this post, I want to highlight a few more innovative ways libraries are reaching out to...Continue Reading