LIBRARY CARD SIGN-UP MONTH
September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Use these Because statements and promotional ideas to generate buzz at your library. In 2018, Disney Pixar's superhero family, the Incredibles, will team up with the American Library Association (ALA) to promote the value of a library card. Check out the Library Card Sign-up Month Toolkit for Librarians for more promotional tools, and join the Libraries Transform campaign for access to other great public awareness tools and ideas. Registration is required, but the tools are free.
Fandom thrives at the library.
Obsessed with a movie, game, show, or artist? Your library has all the information you need to delve deeper into your favorites. Plus, library programs can help you meet fellow superfans, and library technology and educational resources can take your fan creations—from fan art to cosplay—to the next level.
- Does your local area have a comic-con or some other fandom-oriented event? Make sure your library has a presence: talk up any relevant programs as well as cool resources for making fan art. Use this Because statement for signage, staff t-shirts, or giveaways!
- Post this statement on social media, targeting users with an interest in various fandoms.
- Put up a display of fandom-related materials in your library and use this statement as a sign.
9 in 10 libraries offer eBooks.*
Thanks to eBooks in libraries, it’s easier than ever to take your favorite book series on your commute, vacation, or anywhere else you carry your smartphone.
*Bertot, J.C., Real, B., Lee, J., McDermott, A.J., & Jaeger, P.T. (2015). 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey: Findings and Results. College Park, MD: Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland College Park. Available at http://digitalinclusion.umd.edu/.
- September 18 is Read an eBook Day. Post this statement on social media with facts about your library’s eBook collection (e.g. the number of books you have available or an exciting new release). Don't forget to use the hashtags #ebooklove and #librarycardsignup.
- Target public transit users (who might not realize they can access free eBooks to jazz up their commute) with bus or subway ads featuring this statement.
- Have passport services or a travel guide section in your library? Remind patrons who have travel on the brain that they can download eBooks for long flights or train rides.
Book banning often targets diverse literature.
According to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, the majority of the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017 feature LGBTQ characters or deal with the harsh realities of race relations.* Censoring such books stifles crucial conversations around social issues and identity, and makes it harder for readers to access inclusive literature.
- Banned Books Week 2018 is September 23 – 29! Use this statement as part of your library’s programming.
- Use this statement for anti-censorship advocacy—for example, print postcards for a letter-writing campaign in support of banned authors.
- Print it as a poster and incorporate it into a display of frequently challenged books.
Libraries help kids learn outside of the classroom.
Children only spend one out of every six waking hours at school*, but libraries help families make the most out of evenings, weekends, and school breaks. Libraries offer free books, movies, games, and programs that let kids challenge themselves, explore new ideas and pursue their passion when they’re not in class. For parents and caregivers, this provides a valuable opportunity to help their child learn, get to know their interests and strengths, and discover new ways to engage them at home.
*Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success. Washington, D.C.: Collaborative Communications Group, 2013.
- Partner with local schools and school libraries to rally around this statement—remind students and their families that e-resources and evening/weekend access to information help support 21st-century learners.
- If your library needs funding to expand electronic resources or extend its hours of operation, use this statement to help persuade key stakeholders.
- Use this statement to promote fun, educational programming for learners of all ages.
Join the Libraries Transform campaign for access to other great public awareness tools and ideas.
Registration is required, but the tools are free.
Library Card Sign-up Month is made possible with support from:
Thank you to Disney Publishing Worldwide for offering The Incredibles as 2018 Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chairs!
For 25 years OverDrive has been on a mission to provide access to compelling, easy-to-use digital materials that reach, engage, and satisfy readers. Since 2002 we have worked with ALA member libraries to invest how libraries lend eBooks and digital audiobooks. In the spirit of continuous improvement and best practices, together with ALA we are engaged in library advocacy with publishers and authors to provide fair lending models and costs. Visit Overdrive.com to learn more.
OverDrive's free Libby app is the easiest way to get started with digital books, audiobooks, and magazines from your public library. Libby is available for Android, iOS, Windows 10, and some Chromebooks.
ALA Library Champions support ALA’s efforts in raising public awareness about the value of libraries and librarians.