THE LIBRARY LOOKOUT COLUMN: Library offers incentives during Library Card Signup Month

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 annually in 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.

This year, we have a special promotion to encourage your library use and something extra for those eligible for first-time cards who sign up. In an effort to remind everyone how exciting it is to be a library card holder, we have two opportunities for you to be the winner of a Kindle Fire 7 tablet.

During September, we are holding two raffle drawings. As an entry opportunity for everyone, there is a BINGO board available that allows you to complete different activities for a chance to win. Do something creative like “participate in a craft time,” inventive like “learn a new language via Transparent Language” or interpersonal like “attend a book club.”

Earn a marked space on your BINGO board and spread library love by opting to “post a selfie with your library card” or “give your library a social media shoutout.” There are lots of different ways for you to earn an entry into our drawing, so pick up a BINGO card at any location, print off the graphic from our webpage, or clip your own BINGO board below. For those who have not yet wandered into the magic of Library Land by having your own card but still want a chance to win, signing up as a new user for your very first card will earn an entry into a separate drawing, available only for new cardholders.

Finally, you can show your library enthusiasm by displaying to the world that you’re proud to be a library card holder. Stop by any location to pick up a yard sign that will proudly display in red and white that “Library Card Holders Live Here.” One hundred signs are available on a first-come basis, so grab yours today. We’re starting a new yard trend, and you don’t want to miss it. Special thanks to our Friends of the Library who purchased these for us.

To sign up for your very own all-access pass to all of our physical and virtual content, 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. Anyone aged 5 or older is eligible for a card, and the opportunities for accessing resources are virtually limitless, pun intended.

Your tax-payer dollars are hard at work, giving you the most literary “bang for your buck” possible by providing resources to our library users, so becoming one yourself, while earning a chance to win a Kindle Fire, is a great way to celebrate September with us.

“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 at the Stanly County Public Library in Albemarle.