"Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap
compared to that of an ignorant nation." -- Walter Cronkite, broadcaster
National Library Week--held annually in April--is the occasion to celebrate
libraries and librarians in America. We live in an information world, and your
local library can open the door to the that world. For current information on this year's celebration, visit the
American Library Association.
Did you know that libraries...
Teach Survival Skills
Being able to read is the most basic survival skill in an information society.
Librarians know how to get kids hooked on books! Vibrant storytelling sessions
take place every day in libraries around the country. About 86 percent
of public libraries offer preschool storyhour and other programs for preschool
and kindergarten age children.
Help Students Succeed
Research has shown that the highest achieving students come from schools
with good library media centers, and most school library media centers
spend less that $7 a year per child. A quarter of all schools have no school
Wire the World
Learning how to use technology to access information is also crucial for
succeeding in today's fast-paced marketplace. The world is entering an
information age driven by computer technology. However, most families still
do not have a computer at home. Those who do generally have household incomes
greater than $50,000. Approximately 44 percent of public libraries are
connected to the Internet and about 11 percent of elementary schools and
21 percent of high school libraries are connected. No parent is too poor
to give his or her child the key to technology... a library card!
Stimulate Young Minds
Libraries provide a great alternative to video games and television. Americans
spend six times as much on home video games ($5.5 billion) as they do on
school library materials for their children. Almost half of children ages
3 to 8 visit a library each month.
There are more public libraries than McDonald's - a total of 15,946, including
We invite you to visit your local library, or take a virtual tour of
libraries around the world. Take a kid - your own or someone else's - to
discover a world of information. The library is one of the few places that
doesn't charge admission!
"As a child, I loved to read books. The library was
a window to the world, a pathway to worlds and people far away from my neighborhood
Ed Bradley, news correspondent
"When I was young, we couldn't afford much. But, my
library card was my key to the world. HAVE FUN - READ!"
John Goodman, actor
"Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life."
Ray Bradbury, author
"The free access to information is not a privilege,
but a necessity for any free society."
Edward Asner, Actor