This September, the 47 member libraries of the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) are joining with the American Library Association and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-up Month, an initiative to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card.
“A library card opens doors and minds,” said Robert Hubsher, RCLS executive director. “No other card in your wallet gives you free access to books, CDs, magazines and DVDs at your library and opens up the digital world to you with free access to downloadable e-books, audiobooks, music, movies and magazine articles. Your library card also provides you access to all kinds of library programs from book clubs to craft programs. What better place is there to explore and develop new interests than at the library?”
As of 2014, children’s programs accounted for nearly two thirds of library programming in the United States, with more than 2.3 million children’s programs nationwide. Older students can also find tools for success at their local libraries, where they can access high-speed internet and digital tools, as well as working with trained professionals on how best to use these resources.
Libraries provide access and programs for students of all ages. For preschool age children they offer early literacy and storytimes to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens there is supplemental education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs, and for nontraditional students libraries offer GED resources. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.
Observed since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month is a time when the Ramapo Catskill Library System and librarians across the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply a child can have.