National Library Week Goes Virtual

The Bellevue University Library has not let the Covid-19 pandemic cancel their annual National Library Week celebration. It will just be a little different this year, but first some background about the week itself. Back in the 50s, libraries weren’t worried about the Internet, but they were worried that people were spending less time reading books and more time listening to the radio and watching television. So the National Book Committee was formed in 1954 to encourage people to read more. By 1957, they had developed a plan for National Library Week in cooperation with ALA (American Library Association) and the Advertising Council. The first National Library Week was celebrated in 1958 with the theme, “Wake Up and Read” and it has been celebrated every year since. After the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA took over complete sponsorship.

This year’s theme is “Find Your Place at the Library,” and everything was going according to a plan that included an Open House, Lunch and Learn, READ posters, Used Book Sale, contests, and more. Then Covid-19 happened and there was no Plan B. Being resourceful librarians, as we are here at the Freeman Lozier Library, we didn’t let that stop us.  With the week rapidly approaching, we put our heads together, and came up with a plan for a virtual National Library Week.

Here is what is happening:

  • “Clif Mason Knocks the Stars Senseless” webinar – Originally scheduled as a Lunch and Learn, Bellevue University’s own Dean of Arts and Sciences, Clif Mason, will instead do a virtual reading from his recently published books of poetry, Knocking the Stars Senseless and The Book of Night & Waking. Join us live on Zoom at 12:30, Thursday, April 23 or watch the recording later. Dr. Mason is always a pleasure to listen to.
  • READ posters – If you don’t know what these are, they are photos taken of students and staff holding a favorite book and inserted into a READ background. This year, you will take your own photo and submit it, and we will insert it into a new background, especially created for this year’s event by library staff. We will print them out and hang them in the library, as well as send you a digital copy. Let people see what you love to read when we post it on our social media.
  • Enter one of these, or all of these contests, for a chance to win a gift card: “Caption the Past” a photo archive caption contest, “Find Your Place: A Library Scavenger Hunt” Facebook Contest, and “Picture This: Match the Photo” a Pinterest contest.
  • There may not be an Open House this year, but we will still be giving out our Friend of the Library award as well as presenting our first Librarian of the Year award. Watch the video on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon, April 22.

The week will be celebrated April 19-25, and all the details are on the National Library Week page on our website and on our social media. Be part of this unique celebration by participating in the week’s online events, and above all, know that no matter what, you have a place at our library!

Sources:

National Library Week History

National Library Week: “For a Better Read, Better Informed America”

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