By Melissa Chapman
September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month.
Since 1987, Library Card Sign-Up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the American Library Association and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.
In the digital age, it may seem like the need for public libraries is dwindling. This, however, is far from accurate. There are more reasons than ever why people should have a library card in the 21st century, and we’ve listed just a handful below:
Libraries are a magical place to explore. You never know where you’ll go, what you’ll discover or how you’ll be inspired during a trip to the library.
A library card unlocks endless digital content. Are you tired of scrolling endlessly through social media? Using your library’s digital content can help you spend your free time in a more productive way.
Research and academic support is also available at the library. This is undeniably one of the biggest incentives to having a library card. If you are working on a research paper or a project, a librarian can help you with your much-needed resources. Most libraries have subscriptions of a range of credible journals from which you can read articles relevant to your subject. They also have a large reservoir of newspaper archives, maps, periodicals, census data, access to paid databases and consumer reports. If they don’t have a resource you need, they can borrow it from another library through InterLibrary Loan.
Public libraries also provide a workspace for telecommuters and supply free Internet access for people looking for employment opportunities. They offer job and interview training for those in need, such as teaching you how to write a cover letter and résumé.
If you don’t have a printer or scanner at home and you urgently need it, what do you do? You can use the printing, photocopying and scanning services at your library.
In addition, libraries preserve democracy. They celebrate and preserve democratic society by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions and ideas, so that everyone has the opportunity to become lifelong learners.
Local libraries are truly a wonderful resource that every member in the community should utilize, but if nothing else, using your local library is a great way to cut costs at home.