Saturday, December 13, 2008

National Library Week 50 in 2008

A meter slogan promoting the first National Library Week sponsored by ALA

Hawaii held a Library Week in the early 1940s.

This year was the the 50th anniversary of National Library Week. The anniversary didn't receive a lot of fanfare. I have a postal tribute to National Library Week here. Interestingly the idea of a Library Week dates back to a much earlier period. In fact the Publicity Committee of the American Library Association recommended such a week in 1922 at the Detroit Conference of the American Library Association. The Publicity Committee suggested April, 1923 as a possible time to initiate a Library Week. The recommendation of the Publicity Committee was prompted by the success of Indiana Library Week which occurred the week of April 23-29, 1922. Missouri had also implemented a Book Week in February of that year. Children's Book Week had begun in 1919 based on a proposal as early as early as 1913. Toledo, Ohio promoted a Library Week in 1916. Hawaii promoted what it called National Library Week in in the early 1940s. Louisiana and California were other states that celebrated a Library Week prior to the current National Library Week. The coverage of presentations relating to a possible Library Week at the 1922 Detroit Conference can be found on pages 133 to 139 of the 1922 volume of the Bulletin of the American Library Association which is located on Google Books. It is unclear why a National Library Week was not implemented earlier than 1958, but there was evidently a lot of concern that there were too many "weeks" already being celebrated.

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