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Hudson Valley Press

August 13th, 2014

This September Get Your Whole Family A Library Card

Celebrated throughout the month of September, the nationwide Library Card Sign-up Month campaign encourages people to Get The Smartest Card, your library card. Endorsed by the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), this campaign encourages the public to discover the important things a library card gives you access to.

"Your library card is your ticket to opportunity," said Robert Hubsher, Executive Director of the Ramapo Catskill Library System. "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 ebooks, 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?"

Public libraries have always been the nation’s prime lender of books, magazines, and other print materials. Today’s libraries are thriving, dynamic technology hubs that millions rely on as either their first or only choice for computer and Internet access. In doing so, libraries provide children with not only the tools to be literate, but information literate as well. There is a lot happening at your local library, and the best part for both children and parents – in these tough economic times - is that it’s all free with a library card. All the public libraries within the RCLS service area offer public access to the Internet and will help you learn to use this valuable tool.

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. Libraries play an important role in the development of children.

Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to become life-long readers and continue to use the library as a source of information throughout their lives. It is no wonder that 84% of Americans agree that the public library is important to education.

A recent study by the American Library Association also showed that families use libraries to spend time together. Forty-four percent of survey respondents report taking their children to the library for this reason.

"Today’s libraries provide children and teens with access to new and innovative software and tools for shooting and editing videos, creating their own web comics, composing music and writing blogs. Not only that, but the library comes with an expert in developing original programs and honing these new skills – a librarian. Librarians are the ultimate search engines. If you need help finding information, visit your public library," explains Robert Hubsher.

Library cards are free to those living in the library’s service area. In most cases, borrowing privileges are granted on the spot based on providing some form of identification, proof of residency or the signature of a guardian.

When you cannot get to the library, let it come to you. Call for answers by phone. If you have a computer, and Internet access, you can connect to the website of your local library. Today, you can even download audiobooks, videos and eBooks to your computer or personal media device. The Ramapo Catskill Library System home page provides a link to all member libraries and their branches 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From your home or office, you are able to reserve and renew items online; all you need is a library card.

The home page of each member library provides links to many useful electronic resources, including Gale Business Insights, which offers information on over 448,000 US and international companies, and Literature Resources from Gale provides information on the lives of authors of all eras and genres. Resources are provided for homework help, such as EBSCO Middle Search and Grolier Online, which provide access to hundreds of full-text magazines for students, and Britannica Online, the electronic version of the encyclopedia. In addition, biographical and health databases are available. There is something for children of all ages and for adults with all kinds of interests, including business people looking for information to help their company grow.

RCLS has licensed these resources for all patrons of public libraries in Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Southern Ulster counties. A valid library card number is all that is required for access.

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