National Library Week 4/12-4/18/2009

National Library Week is here (April 12-16, 2009)!

This year’s theme is “Worlds connect @ your library.” All types of libraries participate in this annual celebration (school, public, academic and special). While I was reviewing this year’s theme, I began to realize how we are actively and effectively participating. Let me explain:

This year, the National Library Week’s spokesperson is Jamie Lee Curtis. The promotional image (PDF) —

http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/pio/natlibraryweek/FINAL-NLW-jlc-ad.pdf

…shows a postcard with a brief note to all: “The library is where I connect. Connect with your world this week @ your library!” Ms. Curtis is smiling (her “I know something good” grin), seated on a library carpeted floor, with a computer on a work-desk and book stacks behind her.

The mix of technology and library bound books and the casual yet “let’s get to work” attitude speaks to every librarian. We are creating places that actively extend far beyond the bricks and mortar, glass and metal of our buildings, reaching our communities in their homes and wherever they may be. I imagine I can be a patron on a yacht sailing the Caribbean, hiking the Himalayas, traveling to study abroad. We all know “books can take us places.” We are now in a time when we can connect with our patrons in those places. Librarians and patrons have adapted tools to help keep us all connected in a mobile environment.

The other side of this is something I’ve seen on occasion in my current position – that is, connecting with customers outside our tax-paying patron base. Primarily for those of us who work on Maryland AskUsNow! on a global hour, we see questions from all over the United States (not everywhere, but many places). Once in a while we have questions from people outside Maryland, even outside the U.S. During my short time in this position with AskUsNow! I have even worked with a patron as far away as Costa Rica.

Although this is rare, it is a good reminder to me that our library services are reaching beyond walls and boundaries. It is encouraging to see the successful application of various technologies and incredible resources to help our patrons connect with information they need, whether they are within our buildings or home, even far from home at a business conference or on an exotic adventure.

You can celebrate National Library Week this year by participating in your library’s events. Many libraries are promoting the Week in some way, calling notice to our nation’s librarians, facilities and their services. Tuesday, April 14th is focused upon recognizing our library workers:

http://www.ala-apa.org/about/nlwd.html

For American Library Association’s events and for more information, please view ALA’s website at:

http://www.ilovelibraries.org/nationallibraryweek/

Greet your fellow librarians and enjoy the week!

(posted by Cathay Crosby, Operations Assistant, Maryland AskUsNow!)

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