National Library Week will be observed April 4-10, 2021. The theme, “Welcome to your Library” is the perfect tagline with the reopening Allegany County Library System doors last month. ACLS libraries reopened to the public on March 1 and library staff have experienced a flurry of joyous and grateful patrons safely returning to the library buildings.
ACLS libraries will be celebrating National Library Week and the public’s return with special events, giveaways, swag bags, and new services!
Library visitors during National Library Week will receive free gift bags, filled with library themed goodies and information about the week’s events (while supplies last).
To kick off National Library Week, on Monday, April 5, 2021 Allegany County Libraries will introduce a new service, called “Get Connected,” and begin loaning Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots at all library branches. Chromebooks and hotspots will provide internet access to residents of the community and assist in closing the digital divide. Chromebook and mobile WiFi hotspots will be available to library users over the age of 18 and can be used to apply for jobs, schedule a doctor’s appointment, find COVID-19 and vaccine information and more! Please contact your local library for more information about this new service.
On April 6, 2021, the nation will celebrate National Library Workers Day, a time to recognize library staff members for their public service contributions in transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning. Library staff continue to play an invaluable role in supporting our communities both in person and virtually. The Allegany County Library System invites library advocates, patrons, and staff to show your support of our library workers by posting words of encouragement and appreciation for your favorite library staff at www.alleganycountylibrary.info/nationallibraryweek. Patrons are welcome to share stories about how library staff has had an impact on your lives or community. Each message will appear during a special presentation at the staff-appreciation breakfast. Patrons can also share well wishes over our social media channels with the hashtag #ACLSNLWD or post messages to the Allegany County Library System Facebook page. Each participant that shares a message will be entered to win a $25 gift certificate to a local small business of your choice.
Thursday of National Library Week will be the annual Food for Fines food drive, as part of NLW celebrations and the Allegany County Day of Civility. This is a wonderful event that benefits the Western Maryland Food Bank and the whole community! ACLS Libraries will accept non-perishable food donations in exchange for library fines during current operating hours, from 2 PM-6 PM on April 8. Each donated item will reduce a patron’s library fines by $1.00, up to a maximum of $15.00 per person. Food donations must be within their expiration date, undamaged, and unopened.
Although we long to celebrate together in person and reclaim the library as a community gathering place, we must continue to maintain the safe practices we have built as the world continues to fight COVID-19. While we are so thankful for the limited service the libraries can now offer safely, we cannot forget all the wonderful digital resources the library offers 24/7 as well.
Almost twice as many Allegany County Library users checked out materials digitally in 2020 than two years ago, following a nationwide trend fueled partly by the COVID pandemic and partly by ever-present technology.
Welcome to your Library -- 21st Century-style -- where you don’t have to go to a building to have a library experience.
In this virtual new world, you can:
- Download e-books, audiobooks, and movies from apps like Overdrive, Hoopla, and Kanopy.
- Participate in a lively virtual book discussion via Zoom, just as scores of area residents did for last fall’s five-part “Stamped from the Beginning” event.
- Attend other virtual library programs from the comfort of your own home -- programs such as January’s 50th anniversary celebration for the Westernport Library, or February’s presentation about the Buzz One Four B-52 crash of 1964.
- Do yoga with Courtney every week during Wellness Wednesdays, available on the library’s Facebook page and youTube channel.
- Go online to browse the library’s offerings of books, movies, programs, and databases, including tutoring for students and tools for job seekers.
- Heck, you can even register for a library card online -- you’ll get a temporary code for immediate access and later receive a card in the mail.
Nationally, there was a more than 30 percent increase in digital ebook and audiobook circulation last year, according to data from OverDrive. In Allegany County, digital circulation was 42,213 in 2020, compared to 28,442 in 2018, an increase of almost 50 percent.
“When I first started working at the library system, I was truly amazed at the resources available for free with your library card, many of which you can download or stream instantly to your smartphone, tablet, or smart TV. I love to listen to audiobooks while I work around the house, it’s like carrying the library around in your pocket!” shares Ashley Swinford, Director of Marketing and Outreach at the Allegany County Library System.
Whether you are celebrating virtually or in person this year, “welcome to your library!” Join us in celebrating the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building and that libraries are accessible and inclusive places that foster a sense of belonging and community through learning, discovery and exploration.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries of all types across the country each April. For more information, visit the library’s website at www.alleganycountylibrary.info.
AccessibilityThe library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the Programming Department at 301-777-1200.
Allegany County Library System may be taking photos at library sponsored programs. Your participation in the program signifies your permission for us to use any photos that we take of you. Please speak to a librarian now if you would prefer that your photo not be taken.