Celebrate Libraries This April

heart and library symbol--a silhouette of a person reading a book--on a blue background

Institutions dedicated to literacy, life-long learning, and the joy of reading hold a special place in the hearts of avid readers and writers. Some special opportunities to show your appreciation for libraries will occur in the next two weeks.

Celebrate our local public library at Love Your Library Day on Saturday, April 1, 10:00am-1:00pm at the Silver City Public Library, 515 W. College Avenue on the corner of College and Cooper Street in Silver City. Literacy Link-Leamos–the library’s close partner organization which offers free tutoring and book giveaways–organizes this special celebration every year. This year for the first time Cooper Street will be closed between College and 8th Street, and there will be live music and outdoor games. Come enjoy cookies and snacks, free books, stories and activities for kids, and door prizes (including a $50 grand prize donated by Western Bank)! There will be no fee for replacement library cards on this day. Contact Literacy Link Leamos at literacylinkleamos.org or 388-0892 for more information.

April 9-15 is National Library Week! The American Library Association leads this annual initiative to raise awareness of how libraries transform communities, and how libraries are transforming themselves to serve communities every day. The 2017 State of America’s Libraries report will be released on Monday, April 10. Tuesday, April 11 is National Library Workers Day, and April 12 will be National Bookmobile Day. Learn more about how you can show your support in person or on social media at the celebration page www.ilovelibraries.org/national-library-week. Download some of their lovely graphics for your online profile pics or social media feeds! The Silver City Public Library will be also be sharing some online and in-person ways to celebrate your library; more information coming soon at silvercitypubliclibrary.wordpress.com and facebook.com/SilverCityPublicLibrary.

This is also an opportune time to recognize challenges facing our libraries nationwide. Right now, in particular, the proposed federal budget completely eliminates Library Services and Technology Act funding administered by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. In New Mexico, this funding supports several services run by the State Library including rural bookmobiles and summer reading program materials that make it much easier for libraries statewide to offer summer programs. The LSTA/IMLS funding also allows the State Library to subscribe to online test preparation, online tutoring, research articles, reference e-books, and other media that anyone in New Mexico can access for free at elportalnm.org. These resources are not normally freely available online. Finally, the federal funding has allowed the State Library to offer traveling educational programs and mini-grants to libraries for youth science, technology, engineering, art, and math activities (Makerstate Initiative). You can learn more about how LSTA/IMLS funding affects New Mexico libraries here. You can also search for grants made to New Mexico libraries here. Currently, library supporters are focusing on contacting members of the House to ask them to sign a “Dear Appropriator” letter in support of the Library Services and Technology Act. Learn more here.

Readers and writers like us love the way that libraries bring us together and inspire us. Join us in celebrating libraries this month, and all year round!

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