Libraries Remember Day
Also known as
annually on September 11th
Public libraries hold archives and promote the preservation of history. They represent all of human knowledge and provide equal access to this knowledge. They celebrate diversity and are a symbol of openness and of freedom of thought and expression. Libraries Remember Day, observed today, commemorates the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and celebrates the role of libraries in preserving history and a free society.
Bill Erbes, one-time assistant director of the Bensenville Community Public Library in Bensenville, Illinois, devised the day's idea. For several years, the Bensenville Community Public Library stayed open for all of September 11—from midnight to midnight. They held a ceremony and a number of activities in honor of the day. A statement from the library said, "there may be nothing more antithetical to terrorism, hatred, bigotry, and fanaticism than the American Public Library." It continued, "we believe there can be no more fitting tribute, no more appropriate commemoration of September 11, 2001, than for libraries to simply be there."
Bill Erbes encouraged other libraries across the country to take part. Some did early on, such as the Sugar Grove Library in Sugar Grove, Illinois, which held events in 2003. Many other libraries joined in over the years. The Bensenville Community Public Library said: "We invite libraries throughout the United States to join us. We propose that libraries of every type, every size, and in every state, for those twenty-four hours, conduct business as usual: facilitate communication, foster citizenship, promote understanding."
How to Observe Libraries Remember Day
Visiting a public library is the most appropriate way to take part. Check for Libraries Remember Day events or September 11 commemorations being held there to attend. Find a book about or do some research about the September 11 terrorist attacks while there. If you work at a public library, get your library involved: hold a ceremony, keep the library open for 24 hours, and make resources about the September 11 attacks available.