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Reading is an activity with many benefits, and it is for this reason that the library should be a regular place to visit for enriching the mind. 

National Library Week, first sponsored in 1958 by the American Library Association, is an ideal occasion to celebrate the contributions of libraries and librarians in the United States and to promote the use and support of libraries.

What do we gain by going to the library? For one thing, when we go there, we have access to thousands of types of books to choose from and read. It is a parallel world that is definitely worth visiting. 

Going to the library also gives us a change of scenery, from reading at home, within our own four walls. Visiting the library also offers the opportunity to meet new people with whom you can make friends or professional contacts.

In short, libraries stimulate the mind, encourage people to read, teach young children that books are exciting, and provide an inexhaustible source of information. 

Libraries can be found in nearly every American city and they offer many programs and services that enrich the community. 

For example, the King County Library System Foundation in Washington promotes literacy, learning and libraries by providing support beyond public funding for initiatives and resources that enable the King County Library System to better serve the needs of communities.

Join us in celebrating National Library Week and the contributions of libraries by encouraging people to take the time to recognize the benefits of supporting local libraries.

A bit of history

In 1954, concerned that Americans were reading less, the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) organized the National Book Committee. 

Three years later, in 1957, they established National Library Week to encourage people to read in libraries. The following year, they created the slogan “Wake Up and Read!” for that National Library Week and eventually voted to repeat it every year. 

Each year, in the month of April, usually during the second week, National Librarians Day is also celebrated, recognizing the efforts and invaluable work of library workers. 

This day has been celebrated since 2003, when the ALA issued this resolution: “That in order to recognize the hard work, dedication, and expertise of library support staff and librarians that the Tuesday of National Libraries Week be designated National Library Workers Day; and, that on that day, interested library workers, library groups, and libraries should advocate for better compensation for all library workers.”

Benefits of libraries for language learners

Libraries are also great partners in language learning. 

The library is not always thought of as a place to learn a language or improve in that language. However, studying in a library may have more advantages than many people realize, such as access to many books, perhaps in the language you are learning, as well as the silence and tranquility typical of these spaces to study with greater concentration.

Today, many libraries offer collections to help you learn, update your knowledge of, or improve the language you are learning. 

For example, the National Library of France is committed to developing its collections and services in the field of French as a foreign language in order to diversify its audience, including the non-native French-speaking public residing in France.

In this self-directed learning space dedicated to the practice of French as a foreign language, online methods and books accompanied by audio documents are available to the public for learning and perfecting French and for discovering Francophone culture.


Read also: Professional Development Webinar Series – Spring 2023


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