Every time I move to a new town, there’s a place I look for before all others.
I may not know where to find the nearest hardware store, supermarket, gas station, Secretary of State’s Office or best pizza place for a week or two.
But I always know within a day where to find the local library.
That building full of books — and knowledge — is important.
It is a place of lifelong learning, where people can go to borrow reading materials and videos, attend workshops and seminars, find computer training and access and conduct organizational meetings.
And this week is the time to honor all of that.
The American Library Association has designated Sunday, April 12, through Saturday, April 18, as National Library Week. The celebration is observed each April during the second full week.
Tuesday is National Library Workers Day. Take time to stop by and say thanks to library staff, administrators and volunteers.
For the go-getters out there, you can take it a step further and join the ranks of volunteers. A starting point would be joining a Friends of the Library organization — many libraries have one. And if your local library doesn’t have one, maybe it’s time to start one.
Wednesday is National Bookmobile Day. The ALA designated this day to honor the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and those who make bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.
Your library may not have a bookmobile program, but if you are interested in rural outreach and would be willing to volunteer, stop by your local library and ask if other outreach opportunities are available.
Thursday is Celebrate Teen Literature Day. Have you read “The Hunger Games” yet? Are you intrigued by movie previews for “Insurgent” and want to read the series? Teen literature is gaining momentum and popularity among readers of all ages.
Go ahead — celebrate your inner youth with a visit to the library and check out a book from the young adult fiction section. If you need suggestions for which YA book to borrow, I recommend browsing NPR’s 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels list at n.pr/ILhkF6.
If those designated days don’t inspire you to celebrate, there is one more starting point. The ALA offered a theme for this year’s observance: “Unlimited Possibilities @ Your Library.”
The simplest way to honor local libraries is to walk in, use their services and see how many possibilities you can find between the covers of a book.