The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) joined libraries throughout Pennsylvania and the country in celebrating National Library Week – April 7 – 13, 2019. The week allowed residents to discover the changing role of libraries within our communities and to dispel the notion that libraries are simply book repositories, or places of quiet study.
Never have our libraries served a more important part in strengthening communities through education and lifelong learning. Today’s libraries provide critical resources including eBooks, technology courses, English as a Second Language (ESL) materials, kindergarten readiness programs, job development programs and even safe spaces.
ACLA’s member libraries are constantly evolving to offer innovative tools and resources that spark imagination and inspire residents to explore. Libraries lend much more than books – there are cooking items, fishing gear, grandparent bags and doll kits to name a few.
“ACLA’s 73 locations throughout Allegheny County continue to play an important role for our region,” said Marilyn Jenkins, executive director of ACLA. “We have made a commitment to continuously evolve to ensure we are providing necessary access to information and resources for residents of all ages.”
Library workers were also acknowledged and commended during this week for their role in addressing community challenges. Many serve as first responders who take on roles outside of traditional library service, supporting patrons’ needs and community development. Functioning at various times as career counselor, social worker, teacher and technology instructor, today’s library staff give special care to provide programs and services that support our most vulnerable and curious.
As part of the weeklong celebration, ACLA launched Faces of the Library – a story portal on the non-profit’s website where individuals can share their story of why their library is important to them and their community.