National Library Week 2023

This year, National Library Week will take place from April 23 - April 29 and National Library Workers Day will be on April 25. Below is some exciting news and resources to honor our nation's dedicated and hardworking library workers.

A statement from AFSCME President Lee Saunders recognizing National Library Week

"Now more than ever, library workers must have a seat at the table."

“Whether they’re introducing us to our next favorite book or teaching new skills like how to code or start a business, library workers are the backbone of our communities. So much of the important work they do is behind the scenes – from managing online collections to archiving our history to building bookshelves and maintaining libraries’ physical space.

“While these workers have ensured the library is a welcoming space for all, they deal with tremendous challenges. When the opioid epidemic spiked, library workers learned how to use Narcan so they could save lives. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many libraries stayed open to ensure that people were able to access the vital services they provide. Now, these front-line heroes are facing both budget cuts and censorship threats that hurt their ability to protect their communities and preserve our freedoms. If that’s not enough, widespread staffing shortages are making library workers’ jobs harder than ever.

“This National Library Week, we must respond to this moment by continuing to organize for respect and dignity. With a seat at the table, union library workers have the power in numbers they need to negotiate for improvements that benefit themselves and their communities. For many Americans, the library is one of the only places where they can seek refuge and find help, and they’re counting on us to keep library doors open.”

Library workers are rising up

Congratulations to our library union siblings who recently celebrated some major news:

  • Workers at Salt Lake City Public Library (Salt Lake City, UT) officially announced their unionization efforts as SCLPL Workers United with AFSCME Local 1004 on April 24.
  • On April 18, Dartmouth College Library Workers Union (Hanover, NH) went public with their organizing campaign with AFSCME Council 93. While union representatives were filing their union petition with the National Labor Relations Board, dozens of library staff and supporters marched to the Library Administration and the Office of the Provost and requested voluntary recognition.

  • Early this month, all four AFSCME Council 31-backed progressive candidates decisively swept the elections for Niles-Maine District Library Board. Prior to the victory, the library was suffering from a conservative voting bloc that wanted to implement extreme austerity measures for the library.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type Read Aloud

In honor of National Library Week, Caitlin Quinn, member of Librarians' Guild AFSCME 2626 and a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library, reads aloud Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin. This short children's story tells the power of joining together for collective action. Click here to check it out!

Libraries are under attack—and so are library workers

Libraries and library workers are increasingly being targeted by the rise in obscenity laws throughout the country. Click here to check out this important interview with members of Daniel Boone Regional Library Workers United (Daniel Boone, MO) on the subject.

NLW Zoom Background

Click here to download AFSCME CWU's National Library Week Zoom background.