First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week (NLW - April 9-15, 2017) is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 of NLW we also celebrate National Library Workers' Day (NLWD). NLWD recognizes the unique contributions that library workers make to help people find the information they need for learning, working, as well as for recreational purposes. National Library Workers' Day first started in 2004.
Some Notable Librarians
Nancy Pearl: She is kind of like a celebrity librarian. She has an action figure and travels around the country giving lectures and spreading the good news of books. She started the trend of city-wide book clubs when she organized the “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book,” program in 1998.
Laura Bush: This Former First Lady earned her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Texas at Austin after working as an elementary school teacher. As the First Lady of Texas, she supported George W. Bush’s campaigns and started her own public projects regarding education and literacy.
Beverly Cleary: Popular children’s book author wrote the Ramona Quimby books and Henry Huggins books and has received three Newbery Medals. But before she became a celebrated author, Beverly grew up in a tiny town in Oregon, where her mother asked the State Library to send books to their farm.
Mao Zedong: The man responsible for uniting China during the 1940s and 50s when he organized the People’s Republic of China, was a librarian. In 1918, Mao lived in Peking China as a young man, he was assistant librarian at Peking University.
Melvil Dewey: Founder of the Dewey Decimal System, which San Mateo County Libraries no longer use. While a student at Amherst College, he worked in the school library to support his living expenses and stayed on as a librarian after graduation. He has been named the “Father of Modern Librarianship” and even helped created the American Library Association in 1876.
Living in the Google Era
Many people believe librarians are soon to be replaced by robots or Artificial Intelligence algorithms (AI) as it was perfectly portrayed in the 2013 movie Robot & Frank, which I truly recommend. I'm the sort that believes that there will be a mass movement to AI functions such as driverless cars but they will be hybrid models with some human interaction at all levels. I think this would be a good thing for not just librarians but all of us.
I'm thankful for libraries, librarians, and library workers and since tomorrow is their day, why not say "thank you" to them for their excellent work.
Know a great Library worker? Share your story about them in the comments below.