September is Library Card Sign-up Month. If you haven’t been to your local library lately, it’s a great time for a visit.

Today's libraries have changed from the library you may remember from your childhood. There are still books (and e-books), of course, but libraries today are less about what they have for people and more about what they do for and with the communities they serve.

Libraries provide innovative services and access to a wide variety of tools, both high-tech and low-tech, to empower their communities. They are places of creativity where people can meet to share a hobby, use a 3D printer, or edit a video.

A wealth of activities for the entire family awaits, so see what’s happening at your library during Library Card Sign-up Month this September.

Snoopy is Honorary Chair for Library Card Sign-up Month 2015!

Snoopy, the world-famous beagle has been known as The Flying Ace, The Masked Marvel, Man’s Best Friend, and the Literary Ace, among other personas; this fall he makes his star turn when he comes to the big screen in The Peanuts Movie from 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. In September, he’s especially proud to serve as Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month.

Peanuts is syndicated in over 2000 newspapers worldwide, and is translated into 21 languages. Celebrating 65 years of making us laugh, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the whole Peanuts Gang can be found in publications from Simon and Schuster, Abrams Comic Arts, Running Press, Andrews McMeel, and more.

Today’s Public Libraries

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

Librarians are literacy experts. Libraries offer a variety of programs to stimulate an interest in reading and learning. Preschool story hours expose young children to the joy of reading, while homework centers provide computers and assistance to older children after school. Summer reading clubs keep children reading during school vacation and have been shown to be the most important factor in avoiding the decrease in reading skills that educators refer to as "summer learning loss." 

As our culture is shifting to a more active role in the creation of culture and information, today’s libraries are finding new and innovative ways to extend their collections and services, providing access to a wide variety of tools, both high-tech and low-tech, to empower their communities.

In addition to books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, computers, games, software and other multimedia materials, libraries increasing offer access to e-books and e-book readers.  Seventy-six percent of libraries offer access to e-books, an increase of 9 percent from last year. Mobile devices, including e-book readers are available at 39 percent of libraries.

Today’s public libraries are thriving technology hubs that millions rely on as their first or only choice for Internet access and digital content. Public libraries offer free classes and one-on-one instruction on technology, Internet and resource use. They help people start businesses, create resumes, search for jobs and apply for jobs online. Libraries help people connect with government and their communities, complete online forms and use online government services. 

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Visit your library to get involved.

Tools for librarians are available on the ALA website.

The observance was launched in 1987 to meet the challenge of then Secretary of Education William J. Bennett who said: "Let's have a national campaign...every child should obtain a library card - and use it."  Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that.

Library cards are generally free to those living in the library's service area. In most cases, borrowing privileges are granted on the spot. Some libraries may require some form of identification, proof of residency or the signature of a guardian.

 
What’s cooler than being cool? Having a library card, of course. That phrase refers to a promotional campaign featuring Snoopy, the 2015 Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month, which takes place in September. Snoopy is serving as a springboard for some very creative celebrations and cross promotions for this event, which highlights the free services you can receive just by holding a library card. It also reminds parents and children – during the month when back-to-school activities are at full throttle - that a library card is the most important school supply of all. A number of libraries are taking advantage of the fact that Snoopy, the world-famous beagle featured in the Peanuts comic strip, is taking some time off from chasing the Red Baron to do battle on behalf of libraries. READ MORE
Tell us how your library is cooler than cool for a chance to win