National Library Week, which began in 1958, celebrates libraries and librarians and what libraries offer communities. Long before National Library Week began the American Library Association (ALA), libraries, and librarians were working hard to support our entire country. One of those ways was begun in 1917, in conjunction with the War Department's Commission on Training Camp Activities, to provide library service to soldiers throughout the United States and overseas. This began the War Library Bulletin and the drive to establish libraries in all camps in all branches of service.
|PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION THROUGH |
THE WAR SERVICE COMMITTEE AUGUST 1917 Libraries For Soldiers
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION. Link: http://bit.ly/1ze2TN9
According to the Personal Efficiency in Business, this library became the largest of its kind in the world by 1919. Through the cooperative efforts of libraries they created a "library war fund of $1,700,000 and from gift books worth as much more, it had been organized to serve in various capacities five million actual or potential clients, from over two thousand branches, stations and departments located in all parts of the world where American soldiers were training, fighting or convalescing", had 3,000,000 million holdings, distributing over 5,000,000 magazines.
The ALA was innovative for the time and noted a need that was unmet. The ALA, libraries, librarians and all library staff still practice that innovation to this day. Even more so with the advent of technology and the ability to put into each person's hand that which is the basis of libraries - information.