It’s National Librarian Day!
April 16, 2025
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 16 of April, repeating indefinitely
April 16 is National Librarian Day! 🔖📚📖📚🔖 What better way to celebrate than visiting your local library?
Did you know? The precursor to the public library was the membership library – members of this type of private library paid a subscription fee to cover the cost of members-only book access.
The first membership library in the American colonies was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731 in Philadelphia. The library was a natural extension of the Junto – a club of thinkers that came together to discuss “queries on any point of Morals, Politics, or Natural Philosophy.” Franklin also had a hand in public library development, donating a collection of books to the public of Franklin, Massachusetts.
Nearly 200 years later, public libraries would be widespread. Steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie had a particular interest in their spread – by 1920, roughly half of all public libraries in the United States had been funded with donations from Carnegie (!)
In his autobiography, Carnegie noted that “I resolved, if wealth ever came to me, that it should be used to establish free libraries.” Each Carnegie library was engraved with a sun and the words “Let there be light.”☀️☀️☀️ Nearly all of these libraries are still in operation.
The Library, Félix Vallotton, 1915
-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer