Celebrate National Library Card Sign Up Month

By Jessica Mitchell

September is National Library Card Sign Up Month. It’s no surprise that one of the most invaluable education tools is celebrated around the same time school starts back up. Libraries foster literacy, expose children and adults to a wide variety of educational tools and offer computer access to those who do not have it within their homes.

Libraries also offer a range of activities, which encourage children to spend more time reading, hearing stories and talking about what they’ve read. Activities within libraries also allow parents to become more involved in their own children’s reading, with activities that encourage parent and child interaction.

“Libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information,” says novelist and comic book author Neil Gaiman.

Looking for books about libraries and literacy to celebrate this month? The Library by Sarah Stewart, The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski and Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami are great for younger readers. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a favorite for ages 12 and up.

All eight Evansville Vanderburgh Public Libraries offer library cards free to residents of Vanderburgh County. Indiana residents who do not live in Vanderburgh County may purchase a Public Library Access Card (PLAC) or a Subscription card. You may apply at any location with a valid photo identification, proof of current address and a parent or guardian signature if you are under 18.

Williard Library also offers free library cards if you reside, work or attend school in Evansville. You will need verification of your current address and a legal photo ID. Indiana residents may receive a Willard Library card at no cost by displaying their home library card and verifying their current address with a legal photo ID. Non-Indiana residents may receive a Willard Library card for a fee of $35 per year by displaying their home library card and verifying their current address with a legal photo ID.

Another fun library holiday, Banned Books Week, occurs September 24-30 this year. Head to the library and check out a book that has faced censorship. Some of my personal favorites for young people include: Where The Wild Things Are, Alice in Wonderland, Harriet the Spy, Anne Frank: The Dairy of a Young Girl and Catcher in the Rye.

Jessica Mitchell is the Marketing & Design Coordinator at Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana.