September is library card sign-up month for the Northwestern Regional Libraries. This is a time when libraries across the country will be reminding parents and families of the services of their local library. The Northwestern Regional Library is joining with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that students are ready for the school year and have access to their public library and the resources it offers.
Library cards are free for any library in the Northwestern Regional Library.
Libraries offer more than just books to their patrons. They are creative educational spaces for learners young and old alike.
Patrons can check out books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, as well as operate computers and computer programs on a daily basis free of charge. Books and resources include topics in fiction, non-fiction, biographies, children books, and books included in the 2016-17 Battle of the Books reading list.
“Libraries also provide 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 their home,” said NWRL Secretary Joan Sherif. “Today’s public libraries are thriving technology hubs that many rely on as their first or only choice for internet access and digital content.”
Free classes and courses through one-on-one instruction on library resources, internet, and technology are also present at the library. Libraries can be used to help start businesses, provide resume support and construction, and search and apply for jobs online.
The Northwest Regional Libraries also provide programs and resources for children such as writing clubs and activities that inspire creativity and imagination. The libraries in the United States offer more than 2.3 million children programs, accounting to nearly two-thirds of all library programming.
“It’s free information for people who don’t have access to the internet and don’t want to buy the books they want to read,” said Elkin Branch Librarian Martha Smith. “We had a campaign back when smart cards were trended called The Smartest Card and it didn’t cost you anything and you become educated when you use it. We will also be giving everybody a card at the Elkin Elementary School.”
Students and families also can have access to high-speed internet, digital tools, and the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use library resources and technologies.
“I think the services are fantastic,” said writer Mathew Miller. “It doesn’t matter what you come into the library for, they’re always willing to help. To be able to have a public location to come and explore ideas and even share ideas with the library, I think that’s what it’s all about, having a place to explore creativity and our understanding of life.”
“As our culture is shifting, today’s libraries are finding new and innovative ways to extend their collections and services, providing access to a wide variety of tools, both high-tech and low-tech, to empower their communities,” said Sherif.
Several new book clubs also are starting including at the Elkin Public Library including Books that Shaped America Book Discussion on Monday at 7 p.m. featuring “In Cold Blood”; the Women’s Book Club on Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. featuring “The Astronaut Wives Club” by Lily Koppel; and Memoirs & More Book Club on Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. featuring “H is for Hawk” by Helen Macdonald. Books are available to check out at the front desk.
To sign up for a library card, visit a local library in Alleghany, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties, or visit the Northwestern Regional Library website at www.nwrl.org.
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.