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.
National Library Week is observed each year in April, generally the second full week.
2009 - April 12-18
2010 - April 4-10
2011 - April 10-16
2012 - April 8-14
2013 - April 14-20
For more information
Tips for organizing and promoting National Library Week are posted on The Campaign for America's Libraries' Web site at www.ala.org/@yourlibrary.
And here's a History of Libraries from History Magazine.
And a book from the "Timeline Library" all about Libraries.
"Obsessive," you say? Why whatever do you mean?