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9:37 a.m. April 3, 2012
Governor Haslam declares April 9, 2012 to be Library Day in Tennessee

NASHVILLE -- As libraries across the United States celebrate National Library Week from April 8-14, Governor Bill Haslam signed a proclamation declaring April 9 to be "Library Day" in Tennessee. This honor is in recognition of the many services that libraries are providing to citizens across the state. Tennessee Library Legislation Day is recognized annually by the Tennessee Library Association (TLA) in April.

On the afternoon of April 9 this year, the Tennessee Library Association is hosting an advocacy workshop at the State Capitol in Nashville from 3:30-4:00 and attendees are invited to stay from 4:00-5:00 to visit with their local legislators to talk about their library's impact upon their community.

This year libraries statewide celebrated 'Tennessee Loves Libraries' in February during which library users were encouraged to fill out postcards for their legislators. Library advocates then delivered the postcards to their elected officials or they are bringing them to Library Legislative Day on April 9 to give to their local legislators.

There are 292 public libraries in Tennessee which loaned 26,627,945 items to citizens. 3,274,836 Tennessee citizens are registered borrowers at public libraries, 51% of Tennessee citizens. Libraries across Tennessee offer programs, services and assistance to the community including free educational and career assistance opportunities. 36,634 programs have been offered at public libraries and these programs were attended by 1,051,070 people. Approximately 1,452 library staff statewide answered 3,603,626 questions helping library users to achieve their goals.

57.9% of public libraries in Tennessee offer the only free access to computers and the Internet in their community. Many academic and public libraries serve as access points for the free Tennessee Electronic Library which had over over 33 million Internet searches a year. 83% of public libraries are providing resources and software to assist their users with career development. As government and other services move online, this free public access to the technology and information is of great importance to local communities. In Tennessee libraries there are only 4,729 public Internet terminals and they have been used 6,060,546 times by library users.

To quote the Proclamation signed by Governor Haslem, libraries in Tennessee truly are "...part of the American Dream, places for education, opportunity and lifelong learning..." Please attend the Library Legislation Day on April 9th to thank your local legislator for their support of Tennessee libraries or call them to express your appreciation on this year's Library Day.

Source: Tennessee Library Association

Published April 3, 2012

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