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Library cards provide endless opportunities

As students prepared to head back to school, there is one essential school supply that required no shopping and didn’t cost a penny — it’s a library card.

This September, Cumberland County Public Library is joining with the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-up Month, to encourage parents, caregivers and students to obtain a free library card that will save them money while reaping rewards in academic achievement and lifelong learning.

Whether it’s providing free access to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programs, educational apps, in-person and virtual homework help or technology workshops, a library card is one of the most cost effective back-to-school supplies. Resources at the Cumberland County Public Library are available to anyone with a library card. For example, Testing and Educational Reference Center is a prime example of helping students prepare for school with practice tests for a variety of tests that they are likely to take in coming years.

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

“Throughout the school year, our library offers a variety of programs to stimulate an interest in reading and learning,” said Maegan Lewis, Library Director “Story hours expose young children to the joy of reading and encourage school readiness, while older children have access to technology and digital tools such as Ancestry.com and Early World of Learning with the help from library staff to use those resources.”

This year, Disney’s “The Incredibles” are Library Card Sign-up Month honorary chairs, helping to promote the value of a library card and bring attention to the many ways libraries and librarians transform lives and communities through education. During September, the Cumberland County Public Library will host several activities, including Stop-in Fine Forgiveness Fridays, Mustache Monday’s and Free Library Card Replacement Wednesdays.

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. For more information about how to sign up for a library card, visit the Cumberland County Public Library in person or online at cumberlandcountypubliclibrary.org.