Libraries across Connecticut will join in the celebration of National Library Week 2018, April 8-14, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958.  This year, in keeping with the theme “Libraries Lead,” libraries will be asking patrons to “tell us how the library led you to something of value in your life.”  And programs such as the Library Passport have been developed to encourage people throughout the state to visit libraries – including those located in communities outside their own.

National Library Week is an annual celebration of the life-changing work of libraries, librarians and library workers. Libraries aren’t just places to borrow books or study, official explain, they’re also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies and develop their skills and passions.

Libraries of all types have long been evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve, officials indicate, noting that diverse groups including elected officials, small business owners and students depend upon libraries and the resources they offer.

Resources like e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners and programs for job seekers are just a few ways libraries and librarians are transforming to lead their communities. That is particularly true in Connecticut in urban libraries.

Hartford, for example, has developed The American Place, with an array of resources and programs for immigrants and those seeking citizenship. The Hartford Public Library is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals to provide legal advice and representation by accredited staff in matters before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. Hartford Public Library will be one of six libraries working with USCIS to host Naturalization Ceremonies during National Library Week. Other sites hosting ceremonies during this week are:  Danbury Public Library, Ferguson Library (Stamford), New Britain Public Library, Otis Library (Norwich), and Rockville Public Library (Vernon).

Community members can also develop their own leadership skills at the library, with endless opportunity to build skills and confidence through resources and programming, officials stress.

More than one hundred Connecticut libraries are participating in the Connecticut Library Association’s Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program. The program is open to adults and children, and the hope is that it encourages residents to explore the amazing diversity of our public libraries.

“Libraries are windows into the spirit and culture of the community. I encourage our residents to take advantage of this fun program that celebrates public libraries and the communities who support them,” said Hartford Public Library CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey, one of the program participants.

Celebrations during National Library Week include:

  • National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 10, 2018), a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers;
  • National Bookmobile Day, celebrated the Wednesday of National Library Week (April 11, 2018), a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities, and
  • Take Action for Libraries Day, a national library advocacy effort observed for the first time in 2017 in response to proposed cuts to federa
  • l funds for libraries.

Each library has its own architecture, vibe and collection to explore and browse, official said, urging state residents to take a look at “the amazing diversity of our public libraries.”

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