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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Teach Library Facts: April Has National Library Day and Library of Congress Day

Share Library Facts With Students: National Library Day is April 15th; Library of Congress Day is April 24th

ancient athens


Two thirds of all Americans have a library card. If you don't have a library card, now would be a great time of year to get one.  And, what's great about a library card ... it's FREE!

Fun Facts to Share with Students:
1. The word "library" comes from the word librarie, meaning "a collection of books". The Anglo-French word comes from an earlier Latin word, librariaum, meaning "chest of books"

2.The first lending library was established by Ben Franklin, in 1731.

3. The first bookmobile was in operation, in 1857, England.

4. St. Catherine's Monastery's Library(in Sinai, Egypt) is said to be the oldest continually run library in the world. It was constructed in 6th century. Only monks and  scholars can use it.

5. The oldest continually run public library is The Library of Paris (Bibliotheque de Paris), in Paris, France. It dates back to 1368.

6. A Greek, Zenodotus, is considered the first known librarian in history.  He worked at the Library of Alexandria, Egypt.

7. The Library of Congress, in the USA, is the world's largest library.

8.The largest book find ever owed was  $345.14 (two cents a day). A book of poetry was checked out in 1955 and found in a home 47 years later!

9. The most expensive book ever sold is the Codex Leicester, by Leonardo da Vinci. It was purchased by Bill Gates, in 1994, for $30.8 million!!!! dollars.

10. Each year, the main library at Indiana University, sinks about one inch from the weight of all the books!

11. The world’s first library was built by Ashurbanipal (668-627BC) in Assyria.

12.The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the oldest written story. It comes from the people of Mesopotamia ,telling the adventures of the King of Uruk (@2750-2500 BC).

Extension Activities:
1. See photographs of some of the most beautiful libraries in the world:  Pretend you are visiting one of these libraries. What do you see? How do you feel? What might you be reading?

2. Write a paragraph explaining what you think of one of these quotes:

  •      "Reading makes all other learning possible. We have to get books into our children's hands early and often." - President Barack Obama
  •      "Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation." - American Broadcast journalist, Walter Cronkite
  •      "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney
  •      "A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." - Chinese Proverb

3. Write a persuasive paragraph explaining why someone should have a library card.

4. Write a poem about a library.

5. Check out my informative web quest on the Library of Congress, our nation’s library! Are you a bibliophile (someone that loves books)? The Library of Congress, called our Nation's Library has over 33 million books. There are also over 12.5 million photographs and 6 million pieces of sheet music! Learn more about the Nation's Library with this fun and
informative webquest




Check out my corresponding webquest on the Library of Congress.


Gail Hennessey