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Libraries Prepare For Card Sign-Up Month

Vernon Area, Indian Trails public libraries encourage new patrons to join respective libraries.

In honor of Library Card Sign-Up Month in September, the and the are offering promotions for patrons.

Patrons of both libraries can check out books, DVDs, and CDs, and have access to electronic resources and audio books.

Vernon Area Public Library

The Vernon Area Public Library will hold a drawing for new patrons who register in September.

“It’s a very exciting raffle,” Catherine Savage, the library’s head of communication, said. “The library will raffle off an iPod Nano, a Nook and autographed books.”

The Vernon Area Public Library is promoting the raffle through its newsletter, which is distributed to homes within its district. Librarians also come to schools within the district to encourage children to get their own library cards.

Janice Kellman, Vernon Area Public Library’s head of youth services, stressed the importance of having a library card for children. “Children who have their own library card have a sense of self-esteem, and they feel so proud to check out books,” she said. “We encourage children to use the library because it will encourage lifelong learning. Hopefully, by getting a library card as children, it will make using the library a way of life.”

Stephen Territo, head of patron services at Vernon Area Public Library, noted that the library has seen a significant increase in the number of new patrons registering for library cards. “I think the increase (in new library cards) is due to people looking for free resources,” he said. “They’ve already paid for the library, so they may as well get use out of it.”

According to Territo, 1,686 new residential library cards were registered in fiscal 2010, while 1,923 new residential library cards were registered one year prior. In the month of September 2010, the library added 294 new users.

Vernon Area Public Library’s website includes information on how to register for a library card.

“I think it takes all of two minutes to apply for a library card,” said Janet Nodell, patron services coordinator. “The only obstacle might be if someone lives outside the library’s district, or if they don’t have proof of address with them when they apply.”

Indian Trails Public Library

Indian Trails offers discounts for its patrons. “We’re calling our library card ‘the smartest card in your wallet,’ ” Earl Sabes, the library’s public relations manager, said. “Any patron can go to certain area businesses and receive special discounts and offers by showing their library card.”

Sabes said that more 20 businesses, including grocery stores and restaurants, have partnered with the library to offer discounts in what he described as a “win-win situation.”

“If people aren’t already signed up for a library card, they’ll see that they have value,” he said. “While the library card is valuable all year, it can also give patrons discounts in September.”

A handout detailing the names of businesses offering discounts is available in the library.

The library historically has seen an increase in the number of new patrons registering for library cards.

“The library visits schools in the district, so that typically increases registration,” Robin Smith, Indian Trails’ director for public services, said.

For the 12 months ended July 2011, the library's registered cardholders increased 7 percent compared to the same period in 2010.

According to Leah Baik, circulation assistant, registering for a library card “takes about as long as it takes for people to write their name.

“The only real problem is if people live out of our district, as the library’s boundaries can be confusing,” she added.

Information on how to register for a library card is available on Indian Trail Public Library’s website.

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