According to the American Library Association website, the event started in the 1950s when research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the
ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens’ organization called the National Book Committee in 1954.
The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”
In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of
ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”
This year’s celebration goes from April 12-18 with the theme, “Worlds connect @ your library.”