September is Library Card Sign-up Month
It’s the perfect time for students and adults alike to sign up for a free Chandler Public Library card
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Today’s libraries are about more than books. They are creative educational spaces for lifetime learners – from birth to high school and beyond. If you are one of the 37 percent of Americans who don’t yet have a card, we’ve put together four great reasons you should take advantage of Library Card Sign-up Month.
Opening New Worlds: Most Americans see the library as an educational support center for students of all ages. For parents in particular, helping their children enjoy reading is one of the most important things they can do. Reading is fundamental to student development and learning. Reading sparks curiosity and imagination. This is where the library card comes in; it opens wide the world of books. Librarians provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development, by teaching parents and caregivers the components of early literacy, which help children develop the basic tools for school readiness.
Expert Help: Not only does the public library have books for parents and children to take home and share or read on their own, it has librarians to help locate digital and print information for every age group and on any and every topic imaginable. They can introduce you to new genres and make reading recommendations for you and your bookclub, as well as show you how to download a book onto your e-reader or tablet. They also demonstrate how to navigate the free online services available through your library, such as access to ConsumerReports.org, Lynda.com and Ancestry.com. Being able to use all of these wonderful books and digital media is free to the cardholder.
Getting Connected: About 30 percent of all students do not have home access to the Internet, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, so for these students having a library card is extra important. The Library is a hot spot for free Internet access and word processing computers, computer classes and Internet instruction. In addition, libraries often offer free programs on everything from writing resumes to learning a language, as well as summer reading programs that keep student reading skills strong during summer vacation. Older students can access high-speed Internet, digital tools and have the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use them. Librarians provide guided training in digital media and grow digital literacy skills and equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet access in the home.
Student Success: For all students, the card provides the information resources they need to succeed in school and in life. Resources not only include free access to eBooks and eAudioBooks, online databases for articles and reports, encyclopedias and test preparation materials, but also free access to library staff who can help find additional materials to complete homework assignments, recommend an interesting read for an upcoming book report or teach how to select and use a database to research a science project. Since most public libraries have Web sites, many services are available from the Internet 24/7. Libraries are also a training ground for students of all ages to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits. The development of makerspaces is just one way libraries are seeking to meet this demand, ranging from low-tech, hands-on engineering opportunities for children and teens using toys and kits, to the incorporation of high-tech tools like laser cutters and 3D printers.
“Our library provides access and programs for learners of all ages,” said Cultural Services Director Brenda Brown. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and storytimes to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs, and for nontraditional students we offer GED resources. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”
Resources at the Chandler Public Library are available to anyone who has a library card. For more information on getting a new library card or replacing a lost or expired card go to chandlerlibrary.org/faqs.html#getcard or call 480-782-2800.