by Kimberly Blaker
Freelance Parenting Writer
On the Coast, Sept/Oct 2017 (among others)
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Fun Things to Do at the Library: Library Card Sign-up Month
“A library card,” says the American Library Association, “is the most important school supply of all.” September marks not only the start of a new school year – it’s Library Card Sign-up Month. This observation began in 1987 when Secretary of Education William J. Bennett said: “Let’s have a national campaign…every child should obtain a library card – and use it.” The observation is still honored by the ALA and public libraries throughout the country.
Libraries today offer a broad array of free materials, services, and activities. These are just a few of the fun things to do at the library. So make it an integral part of yours and your child’s life.
Movies & films – Today’s libraries offer a great selection of mainstream movies and television series as well as educational, independent, and foreign films on DVD for children and adults alike.
Music CDs – Music is the universal language. You can check out pop, rock, and country CDs and even introduce your kids to a great selection of classical, jazz, blues, international music and more.
Computer software & games – For today’s video game obsessed youth, the array of children’s educational computer software and games found in libraries is welcome. You’ll also find teen and adult video games, instructional and reference software, and productivity software ranging from Microsoft programs to graphic design.
Periodicals – Newspapers, magazines, and special interest periodicals are available for both in-library use and for check out.
Books, audio books, and e-books – In addition to large collections of print fiction, non-fiction, and reference books, libraries offer audio books on CD and typically carry unabridged editions. Many libraries now offer e-books as well in many different formats.
Computer & Internet use – Nearly all libraries today offer free computer access for browsing the Internet as well as basic word processing programs to Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
Inter-library loan – If your library or local branch doesn’t carry a particular book or item you’re looking for, most now have inter-library and reciprocal loan programs. So your library can request the material from another library for you, or you can use your library card at other libraries in nearby communities.
Online catalog – Nearly all libraries have their own websites with access to their complete catalog. You can browse or search for materials from home to determine availability. If the item you want isn’t available, you can usually reserve it or request inter-library loan right from your computer.
Special events – Libraries offer a wide array of programs, events, and activities. Fun things to do at the library may include children’s story times, computer classes, enrichment programs, book discussion groups, used-book sales, author events, children’s and teen movie and craft events, and much more.
Kimberly Blaker is a freelance family content writer.