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Save the date for National Library Week in D.C.

The theme of National Library Week this year is “Libraries Lead.” ALA is looking forward to spotlighting libraries leading in areas like connectivity for tribal lands, in efforts that advance the new workforce through innovation and entrepreneurship, and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. We are also excited to welcome ALA President Jim Neal, who will be joining us for our National Library Week events next month.

On Wednesday, April 11, we are hosting an event with Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-3) called “Digital Fab! Libraries Advance Entrepreneurship and Innovation” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Longworth House Office Building. All across America, libraries are advancing the maker economy by providing the general public access to technologies that are revolutionizing the manufacturing industry and fostering entrepreneurship. Come and get a hands-on experience with some of these tools through demonstrations by the D.C. Public Library’s Fabrication Lab, aka the Fab Lab. Demonstrations will include 3-D printers and other programs for all ages in emerging computer-enabled tech. For those in the D.C. area who are interested in attending, please RSVP here.

On Thursday, April 12, we are hosting a panel in partnership with Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, focusing on connectivity in tribal libraries and tribal communities. The panel, “Broadband Connectivity in Tribal and Rural Communities,” will specifically discuss Sen. Heinrich’s Tribal Connect Act of 2017 (S.2205). The panel will be introduced by Sen. Heinrich, followed by a discussion moderated by ALA Spectrum Scholar Elayne Silversmith, the branch librarian for the Vine Deloria, Jr. Library located in the National Museum of the American Indian’s Cultural Resources Center. Panelists include: Cynthia Aguilar, a librarian with Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico; Hannah Buckland, director of Library Services at Leech Lake Tribal College in Minnesota; Irene Flannery, director of AMERIND Critical Infrastructure; and others to be announced. There will also be a simultaneous #critlib Twitter chat during the panel so interested folks can participate virtually. For those in the D.C. area who are interested in attending, please RSVP here.

Also on April 12, ALA will represent libraries at the #HouseOfCode Demo Day, the largest celebration of student computer science achievement on Capitol Hill. The students who participated in the Congressional App Challenge will demonstrate to lawmakers the apps they developed to win their Congressional district’s coding contest.

National Library Week 2018, April 8-14, marks the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958.

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Emily Wagner

Emily Wagner is the assistant director of knowledge management and communications at the American Library Association's Washington Office. She holds a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and a master's in library and information science from Catholic University.

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