Keeping Fort Bend County Strong! National Library Week, April 7-13

Keeping Fort Bend County Strong! National Library Week, April 7-13

Fort Bend County Libraries invites the residents of the county to join in recognition of National Library Week, April 7-13, when the dynamic changes that are taking place in libraries around the country are recognized and celebrated.

The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Libraries = Strong Communities.” Libraries strengthen their communities in innumerable ways -- by promoting early literacy initiatives for young families, by offering homework assistance to students, by providing skills-improvement classes for job-hunters, by implementing innovative technology, and by helping people develop the skills and competencies they need to thrive in a high-tech world.

Libraries provide information-delivery 24/7, using multi-faceted, multicultural, and multilingual resources. By offering a means for people with diverse backgrounds, ages, and experiences to connect with each other, libraries provide an environment where ideas can take shape and grow.

New moms are able to connect with other moms at story time, job hunters network and explore employment opportunities, and family-history researchers make connections with the past. Tackling local issues, collaborating on research papers, and networking with other professionals are just a few examples of how people and ideas come together at the library to try and make their world a better place.

“Libraries are cornerstones of democracy, promoting the free exchange of information and ideas for all,” says Library Director Clara Russell. “It is our goal to constantly be aware of the changing needs of the communities we serve, and to lead the way by meeting those needs with the highest quality of resources and services possible.”

The ways in which libraries provide information and services to the community have grown and evolved over the years, as advances in technology have taken place. The “virtual” portal of the libraries’ website is just as popular as the front doors of the bricks-and-mortar buildings. The past year has seen an increase in the popularity of the library’s digital collections of movies, music, audiobooks and eBooks that can be streamed or downloaded from home on PCs or to mobile devices.

In 2018, we had more than 1.9-million visits to our libraries! Our library patrons checked out more than 3 million books/DVDs/CDs, and more than 247,000 downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, movies, and music albums!

In 2018, there were 887,639 adult books checked out from our libraries. If the average cost of an adult book is about $19.78, that means Fort Bend County readers saved more than $17.5 MILLION by using the library! This total doesn’t include the 247,965 digital items (ebooks, audiobooks, movies, magazines, and music) that were downloaded or streamed from our online collections!

In 2018, there were 2,143,616 children’s and YA books checked out from our libraries. If the average cost of children’s and YA books is about $13.92, that means Fort Bend County’s youth saved more than $29 MILLION by using the library!

The online homework help and databases continue to be well used by students of all ages. The online databases include research information that Internet search engines such as Google or Yahoo cannot access. Librarians, who serve as “information scientists,” help patrons determine the difference between authoritative sources and “fake news.”

In 2018, our hard-working staff answered more than 1.1-million questions!

Fort Bend County Libraries’ services, programs, books, and other materials are available FREE to the public! Fort Bend County library cards are free for all Texas residents, and they may be obtained by completing a library-card application and presenting a government-issued photo ID and proof of current Texas residence at any FBCL location. There is no minimum age requirement.    

First celebrated in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.