Libraries Strengthen Their Communities: Celebrate National Library Week

National Library Week is April 7 – 13, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and building strong communities by providing critical resources, programs and expertise. Libraries are at the heart of their cities, towns, schools and campuses. They have public spaces where people of all backgrounds can come together and connect.

Library programs encourage community members to meet to discuss civic issues, work together using new technologies like 3D printing or learn alongside one another in English language classes. Library staff also partner with other civic and service organizations to actively engage with the people they serve, always striving to make sure their community’s core needs are being met.
The Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) and its member libraries during National Library Week are celebrating the many ways libraries strengthen their communities and transform lives through education and lifelong learning. The services, programs and expertise they offer help children and adults alike to learn, grow and achieve their dreams.

“Libraries have historically served as our nation’s free and open access to information for all people,” said Robert Hubsher, RCLS Executive Director. “Today’s libraries continue this tradition, supporting the education of our children, the life-long educational needs of adults and the growing need for digital literacy. Libraries help to level the playing field by making both print and digital information affordable, available and accessible to all people and providing guidance and support in finding the right information in a suitable format.”

“The library has always been a place of unlimited possibilities. Whatever your interest or need, the library and the library staff are here to provide you the resources you need to accomplish your goals and dreams. National Library Week is the perfect time to visit your local library and see that libraries help to ensure the American dream and promote democracy by providing service to all regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic status.”

National Library Week 2019 marks the nineteenth year of The Campaign for America’s Libraries, a multi-year public education campaign sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), and libraries across the country to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

Everyday more than 120,000 librarians nationwide connect students, families, senior citizens, businesspeople, teachers and professors with the information they want and need to be successful in a swiftly changing and increasingly global era. With today’s tough economy, libraries offer free resources to help people find jobs and learn new skills. With tools to help you search for a new job, resources to help your kids with their homework and, of course, books to expand the horizons of your dreams – it’s all free at your library. People of all ages and backgrounds find entertainment, develop skills and come to find their place in the community. People gather for book discussions, for storytime with their children, or to volunteer or look for volunteer work. The local library helps the community thrive.

What makes the library unique is access to trained professionals – librarians – to help people find and interpret the information they need. In a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the University of Illinois, seven in ten library visitors reported receiving assistance from library staff, and 88% say they found a lot or some of what they were seeking.

National Library Week is the perfect time to celebrate the fact that libraries strengthen their communities and transform lives every day. Check out the library in person or online to find audiobooks, diverse collections, technology classes or job seeking assistance. For more information on special events and programs being held during National Library Week, contact your local library listed on the Ramapo Catskill Library System’s Website at www.rcls.org.

The Ramapo Catskill Library System is a state mandated organization serving 47 member libraries in Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and part of Ulster Counties. RCLS provides centralized automation, consulting and support services, delivery of materials, coordinates and facilitates cooperation among member libraries, and is engaged in advocacy for and promotion of public libraries.