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September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when Whitman County Library joins with the American Library Association and other public libraries and schools nationwide to make sure that students of all ages have the most import school supply of all – a free library card.

The campaign first started in 1987 as a response to then Secretary of Education, William Bennett, who stated: “Let’s have a campaign … Every child should obtain a library card and use it.” Since then, thousands of public libraries and schools have participated every fall, stressing the importance of obtaining a library card.

Why should you and your child sign-up for a library card? Today’s libraries are about more than books. They are creative educational spaces for learners from birth to high school and beyond. Resources at Whitman County Library are available to anyone who has a library card. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff who support academic achievement.

Our library provides access to eBooks, audiobooks, DVDs, newspapers, Discover Passes, and book club kits for kids, teens, and adults. You can take free classes through LinkedIn Learning and Mango Languages, stream videos using Kanopy, and set up an account using our Beanstack app to track reading progress for the entire family. We have educational kits, access to online databases for homework help, and laptops and hotspots to support learners.

For preschool age children, we offer early learning resources, books, materials, and story times to encourage school readiness. Our libraries provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development with the components of early literacy. This helps children develop the basic tools for growth and success.

For all youth and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs along with databases such as Gale Learning which introduces students to online searching with resources featuring age-appropriate, curriculum-related content. Our library staff provide guided training in digital media and help nurture digital literacy skills. Libraries are also a training ground for those wanting to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits. The development of hands-on opportunities for children and teens using toys, electronics, and kits to incorporate high-tech tools benefits them today and in the future.

Often the library is the first point of contact in welcoming visitors and new families to our communities. When moving to a new town, remember to check out your public library and get a free card. We’ve had many families move into the area and their first stop has been the library. Parents have admitted to library staff that the library was at the top of their list of places to visit, even as unopened moving boxes were scattered around the house waiting to be unpacked.

As a special sign-up incentive during the month of September for Whitman County Library patrons, the Friends of Whitman County Library are offering a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to a local business of the winner’s choice. Already have a Whitman County Library card? You, too, can be entered for the drawing just by stopping by your local branch to update the information on your existing account during September.

There is nothing more empowering than signing you and your child up for a library card. A library card gives students one of the most cost-effective back-to-school supplies available. It provides people of all ages the opportunities to pursue their dreams and passions. So stop by one of our fourteen branches throughout the month of September to sign-up for a library card or update your existing account. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.

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