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National Library Week 2018


The theme of this year's National Library Week is "Libraries Lead." Whether you are a researcher in need of pathway analysis software, a clinician looking for the most current evidence, or a student searching for a quiet place to study, you can find all this and more at Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center.

Today’s libraries help level the playing field by making both print and digital information accessible to all our users. Northwestern University’s libraries provide cultural heritage and genealogical collections, research and educational materials in print and electronic formats, and experts to help navigate through the myriad resources available.

Libraries have historically served as our nation’s great equalizers of knowledge. The strength of libraries has always been the diversity of their collections and commitment to serving all people. This National Library Week, join our nation’s libraries and librarians by celebrating the place where we all belong.

National Library Week 60th Anniversary

The National Library Week 2018 celebration will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958.

In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee's goals were ambitious.  They ranged from "encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time" to "improving incomes and health" and "developing strong and happy family life." 

In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme "Wake Up and Read!"

Read more about the 60-year history of National Library Week at American Libraries magazine, and check out the list of past National Library Week themes.

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Updated: March 5, 2020