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Library cards empower students and fuel academic success

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Boyle County Public Library (BCPL) joins the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to remind parents, caregivers, and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning.

There is nothing more empowering than signing up for your own library card. Through access to technology, media resources, and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in the classroom and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their dreams and passions.

Libraries play an important role in the lives of children. They offer everything from early literacy programs to virtual homework help and GED classes, helping transform lives and communities through education. At BCPL, you’ll find a wide variety of educational resources and activities that serve students of all ages and backgrounds.

Early access to libraries is strongly encouraged. Children who are 5 years old or in kindergarten can get their own library card. “That’s the best school supply you can give them,” said Children’s Services Librarian Libby McWhorter.

For younger children, BCPL offers early literacy resources to help them learn to read and encourage school readiness, including board books and beginning readers. Virtual storytimes and grab-and-go programs provide interactive educational activities.

For school-age kids, the library provides literacy opportunities through virtual book clubs and STEAM programs, as well as a variety of reading material formats such as novels, non-fiction, graphic novels, magazines, and audiobooks. For teens and older students, the library provides access to technology and digital tools, such as public computers, free Wi-Fi access, and tutor.com, as well as test prep resources for GED, ACT, SAT, PSAT, and AP exams.

BCPL, along with libraries everywhere, continue to adapt and expand services to meet the evolving needs of our community. To learn more about the library’s resources and programs, and how to sign up for a traditional or digital library card, please visit www.BoylePubLib.org.

This year, DC’s Wonder Woman is embarking on a mission to champion the power of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair. 

In her new role, Wonder Woman will promote the value of libraries and encourage everyone to get their very own library card. 

Each Wednesday in September, BCPL will have a new video about library cards on topics such as how to get a card, using your card to check out materials at the library and from digital collections, and how to use a card to access online resources.

“Due to virtual learning, we aren’t able to visit classrooms to let students know about getting a library card so these videos are our way of trying to get that message out there,” said Youth Services Librarian Kinsey Hisle. “Each Youth Services staff member with help from Outreach as well, will host a video to show just what a BCPL library card can do for students in all grades. We are here to support them with materials and resources, and getting a free library card is the first step.”

To encourage kindergarten students to get library cards, McWhorter is hosting a special contest. When they visit the library to sign up for a library card, kindergarteners at any school in Boyle County are eligible to enter a drawing to win a pumpkin decorated as one of these popular book characters: Elephant, Piggie, or Pete the Cat. (If a kindergarten student already has their card, they can still come to the children’s library and present their library card and sign up for the drawing.) At the end of September, BCPL will draw for the winners. In addition, there is also a classroom competition for card sign-ups. The class who has the most students come in and get a library card will win a special classroom prize.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.

How to get a library card:

BCPL library cards are available for adults and children ages five and older. Anyone wanting to register for a card will need to come into the building — children will need their guardian present — and are only asked to provide basic contact information. Residents of Boyle County can get library cards for free. Since BCPL is part of a library consortium, patrons who live in a surrounding county and have a library card in good standing from their home county can also get a card with BCPL for free. Otherwise there is a $10 annual fee.

The Boyle County Public Library serves the city of Danville and the surrounding communities, and is actively committed to enriching the lives of its patrons. The library is located at 307 West Broadway in Danville.