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National Library Week 2020: Home

National Library Week 2020


National Library Week (April 19 - 25, 2020) is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support. The theme for National Library Week, “Find your place at the library,” was chosen months ago before the emergence of a global pandemic forced most libraries to temporarily close their buildings.

To highlight these efforts, we decided to build on the original National Library Week theme by flipping the text to “Find the library at your place.” 

While most libraries have closed their buildings to the public in the interest of community health and safety, they are open for business online, providing the virtual services and digital content their communities need now more than ever. Many libraries have expanded their access to digital content and found innovative ways to continue their programming virtually.

National Library Week 2020

Hogwarts Virtual Library Escape Room

Libraries across the country are closing their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped serving their communities. One library in McMurray, Pennsylvania created an online Harry Potter escape room to keep local teens entertained at home.

Peters Township Public Library’s digital escape room includes a variety of magic-themed puzzles, set during your first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can complete it alone or in a group—or even compete with friends to see who gets the fastest time.

Library Facts

  • The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with more than 167 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves, which would span roughly the distance from The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • A growing body of evidence suggests that students’ academic success is linked to library usage, including improved student retention and an enhanced academic experience.
  • Libraries play a critical role in the happiness of Americans. Communities that spend more on libraries, parks and highways are shown to support the well-being of community members.
  • Librarians have long championed their community members’ right to access information privately, and serve as an essential refuge where everyone can check out materials or browse the internet without their information being shared.


Source: American Library Association, "Quotable Facts About America's Libraries", 2019.

Did You Know?

  • Libraries are a smart investment. A recent study shows that for every dollar spent on Ohio public libraries, Ohioans received  $5.48 in economic value. Reference librarians in the nation’s public and academic libraries answer nearly 6.6 million questions weekly. Standing single file, the line of questioners would span from Miami, Florida to Juneau, Alaska. Americans go to school, public and academic libraries more than three times as frequently as they go to the movies.
  • Public Libraries: There are more public libraries than Starbucks in the U.S.—a total of 17,566 including branches. Nearly 100% of public libraries provide Wi-Fi and have no-fee access to computers. In 2013, there were 1.5 billion in-person visits to public libraries across the U.S., the equivalent of more than 4 million visits each day.That’s 2,854 per minute. Americans check out an average of eight books a year. They spend $36.96 a year for the public library –about the average cost of one hardcover book. There were 96.5 million attendees at public library programs in 2013, more than all Major League Baseball and NBA games combined.
  • Academic Libraries:  Academic libraries held approximately 252.6 million e-books and public libraries held more than 87.2 million in 2012. Academic librarians provide information services for almost 38 million people each year – reaching almost six million more than attend men’s college basketball games. College libraries receive fewer than three cents of every dollar spent on higher education.
  • School Libraries: Cutbacks in school librarians may be yielding unintended consequences. According to a recent study by Stanford University, more than 80% of middle schoolers cannot tell the difference between sponsored content and a real news article. Research shows the highest achieving students attend schools with well-staffed and well-funded school libraries. Students make almost 1.3 billion visits to school libraries during the school year, the same as attendance made to movie theaters in 2014, or four times as many visitors to national parks. Americans spend 22 times more on home video games ($16.7 billion) than they do on library materials for their children in public schools ($758,408,000).
Sources: ALA Office for Library Advocacy, ALA Office for Research and Statistics. All facts compiled in 2017

Library and Non-Library Online Games