"The most important school supply"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The most utilized items in my purse are my cell phone, my debit card and, believe it or not, my library card. I have used my library card several times a month ever since James and I returned to Cassville nearly 10 years ago. Over the last two years, I have used my library card to borrow dozens and dozens of children's books from the Cassville Branch. Prior to that, I used my card to borrow novels, books on tape, how-to books, cookbooks and a variety of other items from the local library. I love my library card. I rarely leave home without it, because I never know when I might want to drop by the facility to peruse the stacks.

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. The American Library Association has chosen an outstanding slogan for this year's event: "Sign up for the most important school supply of all -- a library card." A library card gives students access to so many things. Not only will young readers sharpen their skills by enjoying fiction, but they can learn about any number of topics in the local library's reference book section. In addition to books, the Cassville Branch Library offers Internet access, magazines, a newspaper research room, DVDs, meeting room space and an assortment of community events, including weekly movie showings.

"When it comes to achieving academic success, a library card provides students with access to a world of both print and electronic resources," said Gina Milburn, Barry-Lawrence Regional Library director. "Students can access free databases, online homework help and attend programs, activities and clubs that provide an added value to the educational experience."

I can't count the number of times that Cassville Branch Library Supervisor Cheryl Williams has said to me, "People just don't realize all that we have to offer. They are really getting a big bang for their buck when it comes to the library." Library systems, including the 10-branch Barry-Lawrence Regional Library District, are supported by tax dollars. When considering that our money helps support these facilities, it is a wonder that more community members aren't utilizing all that our libraries have to offer.

There are 25 days left in September. The Cassville Branch Library is open from 8:30 am. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. If you or your child don't have a library card, please make time to sign up for one, or just take the opportunity to visit the library and learn what it has to offer.

Lindsay Reed