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Celebrate the libraries during National Library Week

National Library Week is April 15-21, 2007. This is a time to celebrate the many contributions our nation’s libraries, librarians, and library staff and to promote library use and support.

Unlike bookstores and cyber cafés, libraries offer free access to technologies including wireless Internet access, laptops for in-library use, 24/7 online reference help, e-books, blogs, Wikis and downloadable MP3s.

Libraries don’t just provide the hardware, but also offer the expertise of librarians in helping teach people how to use the Internet and find the information they need quickly. While Web search engines can give you thousands of responses to a question, your librarian can help you find the one answer you need.

Although libraries are on the forefront in delivering new technologies, they are still providing the nuts-and-bolts services that people need. From providing the tools to conduct a job search, write a résumé to learning new work skills, libraries are empowering their users with the tools needed to better their lives.

“Reading and checking out books are still the primary reason why people visit the library, but in many communities libraries take on different roles,” said American Library Association President Leslie Burger. “Libraries are continuously reinventing themselves in an effort to provide a multitude of programs and services for their users. In many communities the local library serves as a cultural center, technology training center, cyber café, or community center.”

Library use is up nationwide among all types of library users. Almost 1.8 billion visitors checked out more than 2 billion items last year from one-room rural outpost libraries to new modern facilities.

Visit the American Library Association to learn more about National Library Week.

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