"I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card."
Laura Bush (b. 1946. Librarian and wife of George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States)
September is Library Card Sign-up Month. It's the month when we encourage those who don't have library cards to sign up for one. We also suggest that those with cards make sure their library accounts are up-to-date and not expired. If you have one of our old white library cards, and would like one of the newer cards with the library logo and keychain tag (pictured), feel free to come in and ask for a new card.
Traditionally, our library has observed this month by offering new library patrons a chance to enter a drawing when they sign up for a library card in September. A variety of prizes have been offered over the years. This year, to some extent, the winner can name their own prize. The prize is a $15 gift card/certificate from a local business of their choice that offers gift cards/certificates, funded by an anonymous donor.
However, everyone who has a library card is a winner. The real prize is access to a wealth of knowledge and entertainment, available to library card holders free of charge. It always amazes me the lengths some people will go to to get "free stuff," and yet they ignore all the free opportunities the library has to offer. "It's not just books." There are DVDs, magazines (both hard copy and electronic), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) project kits, and more available to borrow. We also have a variety of programs and events that are free to the public. There's even a high-capacity paper shredder you may use!
Of course, while freely available to library users, the resources come with a cost to the organization. State, county, and local funds provide a fraction of the money needed to provide materials and services. In order to receive state funds and access to state and district library resources, we must maintain certain standards in terms of open hours, staffing, and collection expense, all of which requires funding. That's why we apply for grants, our wonderful Friends of the Library group holds fundraisers, and we are currently promoting our Annual Appeal. We are a 501c3 nonprofit, and donations are deductible to the full extent of the law.
However, even if you are not in a position to donate, we still want you to make use of the programs and resources we offer. Come in, look around, sign up for a card if you don't have one, and explore all that we have to offer. It's all here for YOU.
The Library Lady