“In the mid-1950s, 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!’
“National Library Week was observed again in 1959, and the ALA Council voted to continue the annual celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship.”
Copied from American Library Association’s website (www.ala.org National Library Week History).
If Americans were reading less in the 1950s, imagine how much less it is today with the addition of all these electronics we can’t seem to live without. Reading is still, however, very important and while it has been shown that watching TV is a passive brain activity, reading is definitely not passive. It engages our brain and according to Psychology Today, reading fiction has “the power to reshape your brain and improve theory of mind.”
Central Mississippi Regional Library System (CMRLS) always offers a variety of programs and National Library Week is no exception. This year there are four programming opportunities that we just cannot publicize enough.
Scott County Reads: Mississippi Author Michael Farris Smith
Forest Public Library
Tuesday, April 9, 6:00 p.m.
The Forest Public Library is hosting the Second Annual County-Wide Event for National Library Week with an author appearance by Mississippi's own Michael Farris Smith. He will be talking about his latest book and signing books, such as The Fighter. If you haven't read one of his books yet, find one at your local library and check one out! His writing is critically acclaimed by reviewers and readers across the nation!
Brought to you by the CMRLS Scott County branches: Forest, Morton, Lake, and Sebastopol.
Simpson County Afternoon with Mississippi Authors
Mendenhall Public Library
Wednesday, April 10, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Mendenhall Public Library is hosting over 20 Mississippi authors that will be available for you to meet. There will be a wide variety of genres represented, including a few children’s book authors. The authors will have books available for sale and will happily autograph your purchases.
Brought to you by the CMRLS Simpson County branches: Magee, Mendenhall, and Harrisville.
Central Comic Con
Pearl Public Library
Saturday, April 13, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
It's the first annual Central Comic Con, hosted at Pearl Public Library, and you're invited to wear your best costume and enjoy all the fun! Local artists, authors, and vendors will be on site, as well as all of your Rankin County libraries hosting some fun events, including video game tournaments, board game tournaments, a video game trailer, mini golf, crafts for kids, and drawing/art workshops. Get here early to enjoy the fun all day long! Food and beverages will be for sale from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Brought to you by the CMRLS Rankin County branches: Brandon, Flowood, Florence, Pearl, Pelahatchie, Puckett, Reservoir, Richland, and Sandhill and the Friends of Rankin County libraries.
The Six Word Story
Raleigh, Taylorsville, and Mize Public Libraries
April 8 – April 13
Patrons are encouraged to write a six-word story. This event stems from the story of Ernest Hemingway winning a bet that he could write a short story only six words long. His story had a beginning, a middle, and an end. The story is, “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” We are inviting all our patrons to come in and use their writing skills to write their own six-word story. This event will run April 8th through April 13th with the winner announced on Monday, April 15th. A $25 gift card will be awarded to the winner.
Brought to you by the CMRLS Smith County branches: Raleigh, Mize, and Taylorsville.
Four events we would like to invite the public to participate. There are many more programming opportunities during the week of April 7. Click on the link below to explore other programs planned during National Library Week.