National Library Week

This April, the Oak Ridge Public Library joins libraries of all types in celebrating the many ways libraries build strong communities by providing critical resources, programs, and expertise.

April 7-13 is National Library Week, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and communities. Libraries are at the heart of their cities, towns, schools, and campuses. They have public spaces where people of all backgrounds can come together and connect.

ORPL helps lead the way in creating strong communities by starting with our youngest citizens, offering educational programming in its Children’s Room. The library also houses an extensive archive with materials dating back to the early days of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project.

“Libraries are cornerstones of democracy, promoting the free exchange of information and ideas for all,” ORPL Director Julie Forkner said. “They also foster civic engagement by keeping people informed and aware of community events and issues.”

ORPL will celebrate National Library Week with readings from two local authors. Both authors will address the ways libraries increase the cultural life of individuals and communities. Local poet, Lindsey Alexander, winner of the 2017 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize, will give a reading on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. from her collection, Rodeo in Reverse. Shirley Raines, speaker, consultant, and author will speak at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, including discussions of her most recent book, An Uncommon Journey: Leadership Lessons From A Preschool Teacher Who Became A University President.

The community can also get involved by sharing a favorite library memory on social media by tweeting to @OakRidgePubLib with the hashtag #MyLibraryMyStory or by filling out a story card available at the main desk. Join in the fun and dress up like your favorite book character all day on Tuesday, April 9. Bring out your inner Tita de la Garza, Nick Robinson, Shuri, Percy Jackson, Ranger Manoso, Galadriel, Edison Cheng, Pete the Cat, or another favorite. Patrons who join in the fun will get a participation prize.

Stay tuned for new things coming to ORPL during National Library Week. The Library will be launching a new catalog system with improved features and a survey for patrons to give feedback on future changes.

For more information, call ORPL at (865) 425-3455 or visit the library website at