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National Library Week is right around the corner! Observed annually during the second full week in April, this year it runs April 8-14 and bears the theme, “Libraries Lead.” National Library Week is right around the corner! Observed annually during the second full week in April, this year it runs April 8-14 and bears the theme, “Libraries Lead.” 


Many people are unaware of what National Library Week is or how it got started. It dates back to the mid-1950s when research showed that Americans were spending more on radios and TVs and less on books. Concerned by this trend, in 1954, the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Book Publishers formed the National Book Committee to encourage people to read. The Committee recognized that reading and libraries went hand in hand, so in 1958 they started National Library Week with the theme, “Wake Up and Read!” To this day, National Library Week continues to be a time to celebrate the contributions that libraries make to our society and promote their use and support.


This year, you can celebrate National Library Week and support the Midlothian Public Library by attending the Friends of the Midlothian Library’s second annual gala concert on Saturday, April 14. Featuring the musical duo Jimmy O and Rhonda Lee, this 21-and-over event will include appetizers and a cash bar. There is no cover charge, but free will donations will be gratefully accepted. Come for a fun, relaxing, and entertaining evening where you can meet your local community neighbors. 


And while you’re here, think about joining the Friends of Midlothian Public Library. Dues are only $5 per year per person or $10 per family or business. In addition to the gala concert, the Friends hold three used book sales and one craft bazaar per year to raise money for the library. Recently, the Friends have used these funds to purchase a new book display case and an AED machine. The Friends also fund programs, including making a generous donation to the Summer Reading Program every year. In addition, the Friends maintain several Little Free Libraries around town for the reading enjoyment of the community. In many concrete ways, the Friends continue the mission of literacy promotion that the National Book Committee had in mind back in the 1950s.


Most importantly, even if you can’t make it to the concert or join the Friends this year, support your library this National Library Week or this spring by stopping in for a visit. Check out a book, audiobook, or DVD, attend a program, get technology assistance from our Help Desk—there are many ways to learn something new!
 - Jennifer