Sunday, April 9 — April is a significant month for the American printed word. In 1800, the Library of Congress was founded, and this week, in 1828, Noah Webster published the first dictionary of American English. Today is the start of National Library Week, celebrating libraries, those who staff them and the billions of materials they circulate. While computers and electronic media are of increasing importance in the services libraries offer, books remain at the core of their collections, with the Library of Congress alone holding more than 38 million. It’s estimated there are almost 120,000 libraries across the U.S., from the familiar public libraries to those in schools, academies and governments. State and local libraries employ 87,000 people full time, and over 97,000 part-timers.
Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.