GratiTuesday: Hug a Librarian Day

I’ve always been a big fan of libraries and, since my retirement, my library card has gotten quite a workout. So, I was thrilled to learn that this week, April 8 – 14, is the 60th annual celebration of National Library Week. Sponsored by the American Library Association, National Library Week was created to recognize the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and promote library use and support.

The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Libraries Lead”

 

Although most libraries will have their own locally-tailored events, the national celebration has identified four areas of focus for the week:

  • On Monday, the list of 2017’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books (compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom), was released. Of course, these ten books represent just a few of the many, many documented book challenges. If you click on over, you will probably be shocked at the books listed. You may also be surprised and saddened by the reasons given for their attempted – and sometimes successful – censorship.
  • Today is National Library Workers Day, a day to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.
  • Wednesday is National Bookmobile Day. This day recognizes the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.
  • Thursday is Take Action for Libraries Day which is a national library advocacy effort observed for the first time in 2017 in response to proposed cuts to federal funds for libraries.
I love my neighborhood library

I’m thrilled that today is National Library Workers Day. I don’t know about your library, but mine is staffed by the nicest people. They certainly deserve a hug or, maybe better, a big tin of cookies or some other treat to tell them how much they are appreciated.

Today, this week, always, I am grateful for our libraries. I don’t think there has ever been a time when the important work they do has been as threatened. They deserve our heartfelt appreciation and, even more, our active support.

Author: RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

89 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: Hug a Librarian Day”

  1. Kudos again to my friend and neighbor Janis. Love how you can express so much so simply! I envy your way with words.

  2. Well said, Janis! Our local libraries give so much to our communities and have really become a central hub for people of all ages and backgrounds. My husband and I tutor adults through a weekly “drop-in” program our library offers–it’s been a tremendous experience for us and it’s a wonderful way to support our community and our library.

  3. Now how could I not love a post like this? Thanks for some sunshine on libraries and librarians, Janis. During economically challenging times, public libraries are the most used governmental agency in nearly every municipality.

    How the Kite Runner could ever be worthy of being banned is beyond me. – Marty

  4. So, are you planning a visit to your library today, Janis? I love libraries as well. I just wish I had more time to browse and hang out in them. It’s quite hard to move around as much as we do and become library members. 🙂

    When staying at my in-laws, I often walk to the local library to work on my book in the mornings. Such a peaceful place! And, I do get things done there, without a husband making work phone calls in my ear.

    1. Most libraries have e-book rentals so you should be able to check those out from just about anywhere. I usually rent a few while I’m traveling so I don’t need to carry a book. I remember doing my homework in our neighborhood library when I was going to school – it was really quiet and the reference books were at my fingertips!

      And, yes in answer to your first question, I dropped off a box of yummies by my library in thanks (they were pretty surprised 🙂 ).

      1. That’s awesome, Janis! You’re the best! Why am I not surprised? 🙂

        Whenever I have time (in a future far, far away), I think renting e-books from the/a library is a good idea. For now, I’d like to read the books I have been carrying around for years, so I can finally get rid of more stuff and weight.

  5. Wonderful post, Janis. Our local library is small, but part of a big system, so never a problem getting a book, just have to wait for it. I can’t imagine not going to the library for books. Kindle doesn’t interest me. I like the feel of a book in my hands and turning those pages to see what’s next.

    And the staff couldn’t be nicer or more helpful. I started going to the library when I was 6. This year will make 73 years!! Good grief, maybe I’ve worn out my welcome! Lol.
    🔹Ginger🔹

    1. I have a Kindle but I mostly use it just while traveling. Otherwise, like you, I really prefer a real book. The job of librarian must attract certain people who have an extra nice gene. I don’t think I’ve met one who isn’t helpful and kind… working around books all day must make them happy.

  6. Now that I am in the decluttering phase of my life, I use my library even more than before. I particularly love “Overdrive”. I always have a book on my phone, so I have something to read while waiting. What I would have spent on books, I now contribute to the library.

    1. I buy books from BookBub ($1.99) now and then, and pick up a book from my local 2nd hand store (as I’m dropping stuff off – I try to leave more than I bring home 🙂 ) every once in a while but my library is my go-to source. They switched from Overdrive to CloudLibrary recently but it’s a great way check out books – and even easier to return them!

  7. I LOVE my library and everyone who works there. If I had to buy all the books my husband and I read, we’d have to take something major out of our budget to cover it plus there’s the storing of them which I have no need to do anymore. I have a book to pick up so I’m thinking this is the perfect week to pick it up and take a treat. Thank you for telling us about this. 🙂

      1. Just to be clear, the committee that compiles this list is anti-censorship and does it to support free access to information. The list is based on reports they obtain from media stories and other challenges from communities across the nation. There are people throughout this country that make me wonder if we are the same species 🙂 (and, I kind of hope not).

  8. My first job was as a page in our local library. I loved that job and worked there through high school and into my freshman year of college. I ended up taking a course in Medical Assisting and had to leave the library job to do my internship in a doctor’s office. I could still spend hours in the library!

      1. Pretty sure they have a different name for them now but there were about four or five of us high school kids who came in after school to put the books away and help check books out. The self-serve checkout now makes part of that job obsolete!

  9. Well, you just know I love this! I looked at the banned list and laughed at the idea of a sex education book being banned because it addressed sex education. You don’t say!

    We once compiled quite a long reading list of books which we had in stock, but which had been banned elsewhere for similarly spurious reasons. We thought it would be useful for classroom discussions, and most students got the point, but one complained to his tutor that the library was banning books! Fortunately, the misapprehension was easily put right.

    1. Virtual hugs to you, Anabel! I knew that you and Marty would especially like this. Libraries Week in the UK is October 8 – 14 so you have plenty of time to make your celebration plans! It sounds like the student wasn’t paying close enough attention 🙂

  10. Some of my greatest childhood memories are those hot summer days when the bookmobile rolled into our neighborhood. We should be opening more libraries rather than cutting funding and reducing hours. I loved this post, Janis!

  11. The whole topic of censorship and book banning is abhorrent to me – especially when it seems that all it takes is the complaint of one very vocal, usually misinformed parent who hasn’t even read the book.

    It brings to mind a memorial in the eastern part of Berlin to remember the thousands of books destroyed in the early days of Nazism for being “un-German”. This vast empty space is sobering.

    https://www.visitberlin.de/en/book-burning-memorial-bebelplatz

    Let’s praise books and all the librarians charged with protecting them.

  12. I couldn’t agree more, Janis. And your post couldn’t be more timely. I read it just before my friend and favourite librarian, the retired head of children’s services at a large library, arrived for lunch and Scrabble. So I did give her a couple of big hugs, fed her a nice lunch, and LET her win 3 out of 4 Scrabble games. (choke) Anything for the cause.

  13. I grew up loving to go to the library. It was the place with the cool books– not like the old ones we had at home. I’ve never understood the need to ban books, but fearful people gotta fear. Thankfully we have librarians to ensure all books get a chance.

  14. Libraries are such an important part of our community. We have great people , which can make all the difference. I’m impressed with how libraries have evolved to meet the needs of today. They deserve a special week!

    1. They really have a whole new paradigm which to operate under. We had a lovely new central library built in our city a few years ago and I remember all the pushback the idea got originally. Now it’s an important hub of activity and events.

  15. Hi Janis

    Thanks for the reminder of how lucky we are to have libraries! Libraries have been under serious threat for some time here in the UK and many closures have taken place, but some are surviving by using volunteers. Husband and I are finding ourselves with that first world/middle-aged problem of having to off-load/dump/shred things (as you’ve mentioned in previous post), as we have too much stuff..so libraries are now very much benefiting from our interest in owning less books…why buy when you can borrow? jx

    1. When I think of all the money my fellow book club members (most all who work full-time) pay for each month’s selection, I’m stunned. I just go to my neighborhood library and check it out for free. Sometimes I have to get on a wait list but, since we know the selections several months in advance, it’s never been a problem. I like the idea of volunteering with our library as a way of thanking them for all they do.

  16. Since I’ve started working part time I’ve been making regular trips to my local library and I am also grateful for it. I LOVED the bookmobile when I was a kid and have fond memories of its trips to my country school. I didn’t have easy access to a library and it was such fun to step onto that van and see the shelves lined with books. Hurrah for libraries! -Molly

    1. I’ve always lived in a city that had plenty of neighborhood libraries but I love the idea of a bookmobile! I can’t imagine how excited I would have been when one came around. I’m in library heaven right now, we have three within about a two-mile drive from our house.

  17. Thank you, Janis, for publicizing National Library Week. I’m not surprised to find that one exists, but I didn’t know it was happening now. Ours is a small community library and the library board and staff members consistently work hard to meet various needs within the community which is especially important (and appreciated!) in small, rural towns like ours. I’ll be off to pick up a couple of items on the hold shelf this afternoon and will be sure to tip my hat to the staff!

    1. I love to hear that! I’m pretty sure most of those who work in neighborhood libraries are either volunteers or at least not making a ton of money. If nothing else, we can help to ensure that they have enough money (i.e. taxes paid) to operate and that we show them how much they are appreciated.

  18. I love libraries too. Wonderful post. My mother took us to the library as children as often as possible even though it was quite far away, and I did the same with my own children. I love the serenity in libraries, the hushed voices, the reading nooks, the smell of the books and the feeling of time standing still one gets in a library. And the thrill of finding books and going home with a pile of them.

    Peta

    1. Libraries were a big part of my childhood too. My mother would pile us all in her car for a trip to the library at least once a week. Do you remember the card files (I assume all the libraries had them) where you could look up specific books or, using the Dewey Decimal System, you could find a bunch of books on the same subject?

  19. I love libraries, and have even worked in them from time to time. I hope we always have libraries, and librarians who help pass on the love of books and learning. Not to mention standing up for books that others would censor!

    1. They have some local Friends of the Library volunteer organizations in our area. I think I’ll find out more about them and try to give them some of my time. Another commenter mentioned volunteer literacy support in her library. It’s amazing how much local libraries mean to a community.

  20. Hi Janis, great post. I volunteer in our local library and will be there tomorrow. Will be sure to hug a few favorite employees! Thanks for the reminder.

  21. Hi, Janis – I would never have guessed most of the ‘challenged books’ listed….or the reasons why. Absolutely mind-boggling!
    My library card has also been having quite a work out in retirement. Long may it continue! 🙂

  22. I am a total fan of using Overdrive Media to connect with my library electronically! Always have about a dozen books on my wish list and a few on hold. It’s a juggle. As for the banned list, sometimes I wish I was still teaching! The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian had so many VALUABLE lessons in it, that I would have been the one reading it with my class, and probably catching a lot of flack! (Yes, I had to read it, just to see what the hub-bub was about!) I’ll probably be checking out a few of the unfamiliar ones on the list – I’m a rebel that way! ~ Lynn

    1. I love that, Lynn! I am also tempted to check out a few of the unfamiliar books on the list just to see what the big deal is. I remember when Harry Potter was a problem with some people for gosh sakes. They should just not read them if they don’t want to… leave the rest of us alone 🙂

      1. I first read Harry for exactly the same reason! Parents were all up in arms over witchcraft and sorcery. But what kid doesn’t fall in love with boogers on a magic wand! I don’t think any book(s) have ever made children want to read more! ~ L

  23. I can still recall the first time I went to the public library as a child. It was unbelievable to me that I had access to all of those books. The day begins and ends with reading. There is always something to do and something to learn with access to books. A book in hand is still preferred over an e-reader but an e-reader is so handy when travelling. “What are your reading?” is a conversation opener with many of my friends. Even in this digital age, libraries serve a very important purpose.

  24. I believe you inspired me a while back about using libraries and their resources. I haven’t heard of any events at our local library, but I just borrowed and downloaded two audio books on my overdrive app for listening as I drive the one hour drive each weekend to the delta and back. I love how ebooks on this app pair with kindle!

    1. I haven’t tried audiobooks yet – I’m worried that I will either get too wrapped up in the story and forget to drive safely or that I will lose the storyline because I am concentrating on driving. But, if I had a long commute or road trip on my own, I think I’d try them out. Enjoy the books and the Delta!

  25. Great tribute to libraries and their amazing staff. Its funny, I’ve accumulated a whole tribe of librarian or retired-librarian friends in recent years. They are wonderful people, both at work and at play.

  26. I love, love, love libraries. My life has been shaped by the joy and adventure I have found in them. And hint to book banners..nothing says ‘buy this book’ like listing on a banned book list.

    1. Hi Lisa! Do you find many libraries in your travels? I imagine that most of your books are the e-versions since you don’t have a lot of storage space. Fortunately most libraries offer ebooks as well as paper-based ones. And, yes to your comment about the banned list books… I want to see what all the fuss is about (and it’s usually nothing).

      1. I do find many libraries in my travels and now you have me wishing I’d photographed all of them. They are typically the remnants of a colonial past. Some are maintained in their original grandeur but others, while still open, have collections which have not been updated since the colonialists departed.

  27. I have always been a great fan of libraries. I grew up in a small northern Canadian town. The summer that I turned eleven, we lived just a block away from our tiny community library, which was housed in the same building as the town hall and the fire department. By the end of the summer, I had read all of the children’s and young adults’ collections. The librarian made an arrangement with my parents that I could borrow books from the adult section, under her supervision so that I would not choose anything inappropriate. Two years later, the town opened a new larger library. I would ride there on my bike and sign out six books – four for me and two for my mom. Then I would read all six before the next Saturday! There is a reason I need glasses now in my 60’s.

    Jude

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