When I was in grade school, the library, for me, was a place where you checked out books during the summer. There was always a summer reading program and you got stars for completing a certain number of books.
In high school, the library became a little more important as we learned to write research papers. In college, the library became indispensable and one of my favorite places.
Now the library is so much more than a place to check out books. Our local libraries feature storytimes, computer classes, anime days, game days, workshops, genealogy seminars, artist visits, and movie showings as well as access to books, CDs, DVDs, videos, audiobooks, computer software, and much more. It seems there is something special planned for almost every day of the year.
I remember several years ago we had a faculty meeting where we were discussing why so many students were performing below grade level. Of course, at the high school, we blamed the middle school teachers. We soon discovered that the middle school teachers blamed the elementary teachers. This is when the assistant superintendent told us about the huge number of children who start kindergarten and are already a year and a half behind. She told us that some of them start school not even knowing how to hold a book, not knowing which is the top and the bottom.
I think we were all shocked that there are homes without books and with parents who never take their children to the library. There is no reason why a child should be denied the wonderful world of books and the library. This is why I believe the library needs to be promoted every day of the year. National Library Week is a great idea. The week just needs to be expanded to 365 days.