September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Created by the American Library Association, this month is intended to raise awareness of the benefits of libraries and library cards.
In order to celebrate the numerous perks of library cards to communities and individuals, the Pinal County Library District has compiled a list of 30 unique benefits of library membership. Produced as bold and graphic images, we’re sharing these pictures on social media such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Flickr in hopes that Pinal County Library District users will want to to spread the word about library use! For the month of September one benefit will be shared a day on our District Twitter account.
The graphics were inspired by the colorful, minimalist, and retro design style of Penguin and Pelican classic paperback novels. These iconic covers have seen a revival of popularity with internet and graphic design communities, including revisions of contemporary novels, album art, and more.
All graphics were done by Pinal County Library District Emerging Technologies Librarian, Ann Leonard, September 2013.
Libraries are notoriously known as being some of the most beautiful and comfortable public places in the world. A quick internet search will reveal collection upon collection of photographs documenting these beautiful spaces.
The libraries of Pinal County offer much more than just bookshelves. The libraries offer meeting rooms, comfortable chairs, reading spaces, and pleasant atmospheres. The photo above features the beautiful “Mystery Room” housing the Mystery collection at Apache Junction Public Library.
Whether it’s craft time during children’s story hour, or a knitting class for adults, libraries have always embraced the creative arts. Several libraries within the county, including Apache Junction Public Library and San Manuel Library offer crochet clubs, where community members can socialize while perfecting their slip stitch.
Got a long commute or an upcoming road trip? Keep yourself entertained while still keeping up to date with your reading by borrowing an audio book. The Wall Street Journal recently profiled young readers who whip through novels faster than ever before, as they enjoy them during their workouts, lunch hours, and chores. The Pinal County Library District offers audio books through the One Click Digital collection.
Book clubs are great in that they encourage you to get out, meet new people, be exposed to a variety of genres & subject matters, all while engaging in stimulating conversations. The Pinal County Library District supports book clubs by hosting a book club blog, providing book club resources, and compiling book club kits which provide 10 copies of the book selection, along with a comprehensive Reader’s Guide.
Bookmobiles have a long legacy in the US for delivering library resources where they are needed most. This legacy is kept alive in creative ways through a collaborative project by Apache Junction Public Library and Arizona’s early childhood development program First Things First. Appropriately called “Fun Van”, this bookmobile offers play time, story time, crafts, songs, and snacks.
Learn more about bookmobile services around the nation, here.
Don’t know where to begin in sorting out your college confusion? The Pinal County Library District offers free access to subscription-based databases like “Career Cruising” and “LearningExpress Library” which offer tools to assist prospective students in assessing their options, studying for entrance exams, and deciding on an appropriate major.
Need to find resources on paying for college? Libraries got you covered there as well.
According to the 2012 Funding & Technology Access Study conducted by the American Library Association, “62% of libraries report that they are the only source of free public access to computers and internet in their communities.” Whether you need to pay your bills online, apply for a job, use word processing software, or simply chat with friends, you can rely on your local library.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin
While highly valued as being entertaining and informative, a books real worth lies in its ability to transport readers to new worlds. Library cards grant you access to unlimited perspectives and possibilities.
Need help choosing new books? Check out Pinal County Library District’s Reader Resources page.
Want even more recommendations? Pinal County library card holders can request a Personalized Reading List!
Librarians love eBooks because they make reading easy! Now your favorite titles are portable, accessible, and searchable! The Pinal County Library District offers the 3M Cloud Library digital collection to library card holders, making it possible to enjoy your book while waiting in line with your smartphone, and then pick up where you left off at home on your tablet.
Are you a Pinal County resident who wants to take advantage of our eBook collection, but can’t make it in to the library? Click here.
Family trips to the library can have a great impact on early literacy. The Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children advocate for early exposure to storytime both at home and in the library to encourage developing communication, vocabulary, and reading skills. Get started by checking out the Pinal County Library District’s Kid Zone page!
Learn more about how you can enrich your child’s reading experience, here.
Take your grandchildren to storytime. Bring your Aunt to a local author book signing. Read picture books to the kids at bedtime. Spend a Saturday watching a movie marathon at home with your loved ones. No matter what you’re into, your local library provides programs and materials that create memorable family moments.
Learn more about how the library can support families by reading the “Connect With Your Kids @ Your Library” guide, by the American Library Association.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, you’re beginning to learn that libraries are much more than just books. Many of the libraries around Pinal County have extensive film collections, including new releases! Here’s a glimpse at what has recently been added to the Pinal County Library system’s collection.
Read more about creating a family movie night tradition, here.
A major benefit to using your library card are the huge financial savings you can reap! Use this handy Library Value Calculator to total up how much you’re actually saving by borrowing your books, magazines, DVDs, and music.
Want to get the little ones money-savvy early? Regular trips to the library can help.
Whether it’s technical, practical, or just for fun, libraries strive to provide programming that is beneficial to communities. The image above features a one-on-one computer lesson at San Manuel Library. Other examples include Apache Junction Public Library financial literacy classes. Look at your local library’s Event Calendar to find out what you’ve been missing!
Don’t be surprised to find that your local library owns board games, card games, video games and more. As centers of community engagement, many libraries dedicate special days of the week to gaming of all kinds to meet the needs of children, teens, and adults.
Learn more about gaming at libraries across the nation, here.
Genealogy resources are one of the top used services throughout the Pinal County Library District. Visit one of the libraries in the county, and you can have free access to the popular database Ancestry.com.
Learn more about how people are tracing their roots using libraries and technology here.
Graphic novels aren’t just for kids. The world of illustrated literature includes comics, graphic novels, manga, and more. Its highly diverse selection of genres and subject matters can suit the taste of any reader, and many age levels.
Check out the American Library Association’s Great Graphic Novels list for 2013 for suggestions.
Here are more suggestions from the Association of Library Services to Children.
“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.”
― Neil Gaiman
The Pinal County Library District librarians are here to help! Need to be pointed in the right direction for that history essay? No problem! Need some direction navigating your new eReader? We got you covered! Need some advice on what to read? Our pleasure!
Never be afraid to ask your local librarian a question!
From Tutor.com to librarian approved web resources, Pinal County Library District’s Homework Help website has the resources to get the job done.
Read more about how you can utilize the library for homework assistance here.
A core value within libraries is intellectual freedom. The American Library Association states that, “a publicly supported library provides free and equal access to information for all people of that community.” Some of the ways that librarians advocate for their communities include, providing well-rounded collections and challenging censorship.
A successful tool in challenging censorship is Banned Books Week, which falls on September 22nd this year. The week was created to promote “the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.”
Read more about the upcoming Banned Books Week, here.
Since the economic recession, American libraries have seen an increased demand for job seeker resources. Libraries have stepped up the plate to meet user’s needs through workshops, electronic resources, and increasing professional development courses. The Pinal County Library District offers a collection of e-resources to point job hunters in the right direction.
Want to know more about how libraries are helping the unemployed? Click here.
Libraries function to build and enrich their communities. By participating in public programs and events, users get free opportunities to get out, make friends, and become involved. Meet new families at your local story hour, join a book club, or literally become a “Friend of the Library”… options are endless.
Learn more about how libraries build relationships, here.
Adding to the growing list of library resources is music. Libraries strive to keep their music collections diverse and up to date. Here’s an example of pop music titles released in 2013 within the libraries of Pinal County.
Is your home cluttered with magazine subscriptions? Make the switch to digital! Get the full text, full page view of many popular magazine titles using the Zinio Digital Magazine service through the Pinal County Library District. Brought to you by the Arizona State Library.
The Maricopa Public Library within the Pinal County Library District provides a Read to the Dog program, a proven, highly successful technique in which young children can read their picture books to trained service dogs. Kids love the dogs, and are eager to show off their reading skills to these patient pups.
Read more about service dog reading programs, and other ways to encourage child reading, here.
Storytime is a magical hour that engages imaginations, increases literacy skills, and encourages socialization. Story hour is much more than just reading a story aloud, as one can expect singing, playing, crafting, and games!
Check out our event calendar to find storytimes in your area.
Arizona summers are scorchers. While it may not be too much fun to play outside, there’s plenty to do at your local library. Summer Reading programs include reading lists, contests, games, crafts, and more.
Want to know more about the benefits of Summer Reading programs? Click here.
While libraries offer classes of many kinds, one area of extra emphasis is technology training. Got a new eReader or tablet you don’t quite know how to use yet? Ask a librarian! Need some training in computer basics? Most libraries host regular workshops! According to the ALA 2012 study on public library use, “90% of libraries offer formal or informal technology assistance to library users, and 35% offer one-on-one technology training by appointment”.
Read more about how libraries are integrating technology workshop services here.
Need a quite spot to sit and get online? Bring your laptop or device down to the library to enjoy the free wifi and ambiance! The American Library Association reports that wifi services are increasing, and that wifi use is up! In their 2012 study it was stated: “91% of public libraries provide free Wi-Fi, and 74% of libraries report use of Wi-Fi increased in 2011”.
You already know the library is a cozy, quiet place to get away; with great seating and free wifi access, but have you considering taking advantage of this public space to pursue your writing dreams?! National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, and libraries around Pinal County dedicate space just for these ambitious participants.