National Library Week is April 3–9, 2022. It’s a week to celebrate libraries and all the contributions they make to the community.
Aside from promoting reading and literacy, libraries impact communities in so many ways – some visible and some not so much.
For example, according to research from the American Library Association (ALA), library usage has been shown to enhance the academic success of students. The highest achieving students tend to be the ones from schools with media centers that are well-staffed and funded.
Libraries are also tied to the health and happiness of communities. The ALA points to studies showing that people report being happier when their states spend money on public goods, including libraries and parks, because they enhance their quality of life.
Libraries help strengthen local economies – approximately 73% of public libraries in the United States provide programs that help people apply for jobs, build their resumes and learn better interview skills, and more than 80% offer computer software training for customers. Libraries also help create healthier communities by offering fitness and wellness classes, as well as health resources. More than 75% of American libraries provide online health resources, and more than half provide people with assistance on how to find health insurance.
Orange County Library System is proud to be among the libraries that offer these services to the community. In Fiscal Year 2021, we:
- Served 15,248 free meals to children as part of the Orange County Public Schools Mobile Lunch Program
- Helped 1,964 children complete our Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages children to embrace a love of reading even when school is not in session
- Delivered more than 508,000 books, DVDs and other library materials to doorsteps as part of our Books by MAYL home delivery service
- Assisted 756 people through our Social Worker @ the Library program
- Offered 13,335 technology classes on topics ranging from the basics of Microsoft Office all the way up to advanced classes in Adobe Creative Cloud
There’s so much more – too much to list here.We work hard to give our customers the kind of library services that support and connect people, creating stronger and more vibrant communities. Not just during National Library Week, but all year long.