Happy National Library Week!
I wanted to take this opportunity to address my readers personally this week instead of posting our usual Story of the Week. I hope you won’t mind the slight shift in focus for one week!
To all of my librarian readers, I wish you a very joyful week, full of rewarding patron interactions, great literature, and encouraging moments. May you be reminded of the many wonderful reasons you chose to pursue a career in the library; and may you discover new reasons to celebrate all that you, as a librarian and champion of literature and education, stand for in your community and the world as a whole.
To my non-librarian readers, I encourage you to celebrate National Library Week by honoring those who bravely face daily life in a library in your own communities. I can assure you that librarians choose to do what they do because they have a passion for people just like you. Celebrate all that the library stands for: freedom, opportunity, education, imagination and community. May you, too, be surprised by new stories, new knowledge and new hope in a library near you.
National Library Week this year is, I think, more important than ever before. Let’s face it, the year has not been an easy one for libraries, or the people who love them. We’ve gotten a lot of bad news in the past twelve months–from location closures, to budget cuts, to jobs lost. The economy has taken its toll on us, as it has taken its toll on everyone. But with the recession has come a great resurgence in library usage. More people are using the library now than ever before, it seems, and librarians have worked tirelessly to meet this new demand. With limited resources, librarians have had to discover a new depth of creativity, and have served their populations with incredible resourcefulness and pride.
And so, for this National Library Week of 2010, I wanted to thank each and every one of you. Thank you for loving libraries, and for fearlessly serving each person who walks through your library’s doors. Thank you for choosing, every day, to make this world a better place through story, service, sacrifice and an unrelenting devotion to intellectual freedom. I admire you for your courage in these hard times and for your continuing passion and enthusiasm for the jobs you love. You are brave; you are necessary; you are celebrated!
It has been such a privilege for me to share in your stories of library-life in the last year. I have laughed and cried, been hopeful and been disgusted, rolled my eyes and seen inspiration. The Merry Librarian started off as a place for librarians to share their stories, but it has become so much more in the last ten months. It has become a place where people from all over the world can come to witness the library in a new way–a more personal way. It is my continuing hope that The Merry Librarian will remind people of the incredible value of libraries in today’s society, and that the people who love libraries enough to dedicate their lives and careers to them will be celebrated by their communities for more than just this week.
A very happy National Library Week to you all!
With gratitude and hope,