THE LIBRARY LOOKOUT COLUMN: It’s Library Card Signup Month

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2020

When you think of September, you may think of Labor Day weekend or the beginning of the autumn season, but at the library, we know that September means Library Card Signup Month.

Sara Hahn

Since 1987, Library Card Signup Month has been held each September and has served as a chance for the American Library Association and local public libraries to come together to ensure that every school-aged child has access to their own library card.

While the focus of the month is on children signing up, the goal of the Stanly County Public Library system is to ensure that residents of all ages have access to our free resources, both inside and outside of the library, by having their own card.

To sign up for your very own all-access pass to the plethora of knowledge and entertainment available in books, movies, magazines and more, the requirements are simple. You can either apply online through our “Apply for a Library Card Today!” link on our website and have the card sent to you in the mail, or stop by one of our library locations in person to apply. If you’re a resident, property owner, teacher or student in the Stanly County Schools system, your card is free. For an out-of-county resident that doesn’t meet the above requirements, there is an annual fee of $35 for individuals or $50 for families. Anyone aged 5 or older is eligible for a card, and the opportunities for accessing resources are virtually limitless.

With our online library through the Libby and NCDigital Kids collections, you have access to the resources not only purchased by our library system but by the library consortium as a whole, as we pay into those subscription services for you annually.

In addition to accessing the resources available within our library system, did you know that county residents can also get a library card at both the Stanly Community College and Pfeiffer University libraries? Use these cards to access internet computers and borrow items from their vast collection of resources, including books and multimedia. Check in with them about special hours or restrictions that may be in place right now.

Are library visits even a popular activity anymore? Do people still even use the library? According to a recent Gallup poll, visiting the library is the most common cultural activity Americans engage in by far. In 2019, U.S. adults reported taking an average of 10.5 trips to the library, a frequency that exceeded their participation in eight other common leisure activities. Americans attended live music or theatrical events and visited national or historic parks roughly four times a year on average. Your taxpayer dollars are hard at work, giving you the most literary “bang for your buck” possible by providing resources and subscriptions to our library users, so becoming one yourself is a fiscally rewarding and culturally popular, thing to do.

Sign up online or at your local library during the month of September, and have the chance to claim a limited edition Wonder Woman themed card as your own.

“Libraries are essential for the health of our democracy, our communities, and our future.” — ALA President Wanda K. Brown

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Sara Hahn is the Children and Youth Services Librarian of the Stanly County Public Library in Albemarle, North Carolina. You can reach her at shahn@stanlycountylibrary.org or the Albemarle Library, 704-986-3758.