Are public libraries throughout the United States open on Presidents Day? Well, it depends on the specific library. For the most part, libraries across the country are closed for major holidays, including for the aforementioned Presidents Day.
The official websites for the Los Angeles Public Library, the Seattle Public Library, and the New York Public Library confirm that they will be closed all day on Presidents Day. Although the public library branches may be closed, each branch offers online resources 24/7 via their website if you have any questions or concerns. Public libraries will resume normal hours on Tuesday, February 19. You can click here to view the additional list of holidays that the public library system observes.
All Major Public Libraries Are Closed In Honor of Presidents Day
The federal holiday, which was established by Congress in 1885, started as a celebration of founding father and first U.S. President George Washington’s birthday. It was initially recognized only in Washington, but it was later expanded to include the rest of the country.
Presidents Day used to be celebrated on February 22 of each year, which is Washington’s birthday, but that was changed in 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This act, eventually going into effect in 1971, decreed that holidays would be observed on Mondays, ensuring long weekends for workers throughout the months. Now, Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February each year.
Presidents Day Was Officially Established by Congress In 1885 & Altered In 1971
Over the years, various states have chosen to customize the holiday by adding figures to the celebration. History.com reports that Arkansas celebrates Washington as well as civil rights activist Daisy Gatson Bates on Presidents Day. Alabama, by comparison, uses Presidents Day to pay tribute to Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
The day is a state holiday in most other states as well, with official names including Washington’s Birthday, Presidents’ Day, President’s Day, and Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthday all being used at one point or another over the years.