September brings cooler weather, fall foliage, and back-to-school jitters. But the first month of autumn is important for another reason: September is National Library Card Sign-Up month!
My earliest memory of visiting a library was when I was about six. I remember my mom, after registering me for my first library card, leading me to the children’s section of our local library. Immediately I felt enthralled. The thought that I could choose any of these books to take home with me to read was thrilling. Although our library branch was small, the shelves appeared stocked with book after book of colorful and exciting stories. I didn’t know where to start.
After much debate, I made the wise decision of pulling Dr. Suess’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish from the shelf, strolling to the check-out counter (which I could barely see over), and handing the librarian my very own (bright, shiny, new!) library card. That freedom—that prerogative to make my own choice —was such a powerful feeling for my six-year-old self. And honestly, it still is today. When I walk into any library branch, that surge of independence still gets me.
Now, having a library card means a lot more. Back then, a library card opened up the world of novels, biographies, research materials, and reference books. But currently, as technology progresses so quickly, libraries are becoming vital sources for all media. Signing up for a Free Library card gives you access to digital media (like audiobooks and music downloads), online special collections (like medieval manuscripts or historic Philadelphia maps), author event podcasts (in case you couldn’t make it the first time around), in addition to our vast branch resources like small business reference collections, cookbooks, fine art texts, how-to guides, DVDs, CDs, and pretty much anything else you could want or need.
My first trip to the library encouraged me to explore. In those first years of my library card, I discovered the world of Dr. Suess, the fantastic tales of Roald Dahl, and the adventures of The Babysitters Club. And although I still check-out those books from time-to-time (One Fish is now available in audiobook too!), my library card has grown up with me. With it, I can figure out how to do my taxes, to search for jobs, to cook dinner.
So let September be your month of exploration! Signing-up for a library card (or renewing your old one!) is quick and easy. Sign up online!