Did you know that a library card can offset back-to-school costs?
As families strive to make ends meet, the ALA is encouraging parents and caregivers to provide their child with the most valuable and cost-effective back-to-school supply of them all- a free library card!
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, this year back-to-school spending will exceed $40 billion dollars, a 4.5 percent increase over 2011.
But, why buy when you can borrow?
This September marks the 25th anniversary of Library Card Sign-up Month, a national campaign aimed to ensure that every student obtains a library card. Thousands of public and school libraries will host special programs that will showcase the endless free educational resources that libraries offer.
Did you know that public libraries offer important educational resources like online homework resources (82.3%) and access to online databases (98.8 percent) with content in virtually every school subject including history, literature and science? According to the Library Value Calculator provided by ILoveLibraries.org, just 10 hours of computer use, reference assistance and database searches can save families more than $380.
Getting information is easy, but getting the right information takes practice. Why pay for computer training when a library provides free technology workshops for the whole family? More than 90 percent of libraries offer formal or informal technology assistance to library users and 35 percent offer one-on-one technology training by appointment – all for free.
In some communities libraries are working with local businesses to offer card holders even more savings. For example in Boyd County (Ky.) Public Library card holders who show their valid library card in September will receive discounts of up to 10 percent on clothing, sporting goods and book purchases. Also, select retailers will provide deeper discounts of up to 20 percent on merchandise.
Joining the ALA in efforts to increase library card registrations this year is Honorary Library Card Sign-up Month chair Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. Polamalu appears in both print and digital PSAs to promote the event.
For information on Library Card Sign-up Month please visit the Library Card Sign-up Month Web Press Kit.
*Submitted by Jennifer Petersen, Public Information Office