By KATHY STUTZMAN
WCPL Public Relations Manager
September is Library Card Signup Month and recently I came across a written piece in MoneyNING, an online magazine, called 10 Reasons to Have a Library Card. I loved some of the reasons writer Michelle (no last name provided) gave for having a library card and believed they were worth passing on. I tweaked her list to reflect our library and added some of my own.
- Books. If you still enjoy turning the pages of a solid tome in your hands, there are many advantages to borrowing books from the library. Besides being free, library books can be requested online and picked up at the Warsaw Library. Do you have a reading group? We can get multiple copies through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system for your use! For e-books, see reason #4.
- DVDs. No matter what you pay to rent movies, it costs more than renting them from the library. Picking up your DVDs from the library isn’t as convenient as Netflix or Blockbuster’s home delivery/home streaming services, but it’s still frugal. Did you know we show newly released movies? Skip Redbox and come to one of our New Release Tuesday events. Free movies and free popcorn.
- CDs. Again, pick them up for free, listen to them for free. Free!
- Downloads. It’s a little-known fact that many libraries allow cardholders to download audio and electronic books, movies, and MP3s from the comfort of their homes. How exciting is that? Lately, I have downloaded eBooks to my cell phone and to my husband’s android tablet.
- Programs. Warsaw Library offers a number of programs to educate and entertain all ages. For children, we provide Preschool Story Hours that teach the skills needed to enter kindergarten. Last month, we offered a Medicare program to assist senior adults in choosing a health plan, an informative program on the school voucher system, and a musical program featuring hammered dulcimers.
- Software/Databases. We are fortunate to be able to access a lot of free information and tools from our homes thanks to Google and open source applications, but Warsaw Library has free-to-you subscriptions to resources like Mango Languages, Price It! Antiques & Collectibles, and Standard and Poors Online. All you need to access them is a library card and a number of the databases can be accessed at home.
- Librarians. Our librarians are trained to research and find answers to all of your most probing questions completely free of charge, and most of them seem to get a real kick out of doing it. Unlike Google that can bring back 100,000 answers, WCPL librarians bring back the RIGHT answer. Teachers, our WCPL librarians are happy to help you with class materials and projects and even arrange a tour.
- Classes. Libraries exist to encourage life-long learning, so they frequently offer classes or discussions on a variety of subjects. Have you attended our Microsoft computer classes? You don’t need a library card to attend these and they are free! Need some help with your computer? Drop into our Computer Clinics that are offered the first Wednesday of each month.
- Wi-Fi. Absolutely free. At Starbuck’s, it’s $3.99 for two hours. Most job applications are online now and our free-to-use public computers and wi-fi empower job seekers.
- A Place to Kick Up Your Feet. Also unlike Starbuck’s, at the Warsaw library you can settle in for some quality work, studying or reading without having to fork over $5.99 for a latte and a muffin. A library card is also not required for this.
Besides offering so many important things for free, libraries are community gathering places and a great place to learn about what’s going on in your neighborhood. I encourage you to check out what Warsaw Community Public Library has to offer during Library Card Signup Month.
Adults 19+, don’t forget to use YOUR personal library card and become eligible to enter for a chance to win a gift basket valued at over $400. More details are at the library. Donated by Kosciusko County Visitor’s Bureau and its business partners, it contains a $110 overnight stay at Wyndham Garden hotel, at $50 gift certificate from Cerulean restaurant, a cut glass item from Warsaw Cut Glass, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar from The Olive Branch in Winona Lake, a box of chocolates from Weckmuller Chocolates, and much more.
Rediscover your library! Visit us in person, at www.warsawlibrary.org, on our Facebook page for the latest news and updates, and on Pinterest (warsawlibrary) for recipes, information, crafts and more.