Nation’s libraries to celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month

Contact: Megan McFarlane
Campaign coordinator
Campaign for America’s Libraries
ALA Public Information Office
312-280-2148
mmcfarlane@ala.org

For Immediate Release
August 25, 2009

CHICAGO - This September, the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries throughout the country will celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month. It is a time when libraries remind parents and caregivers to bring their school-age children to the library to get the most important school supply of all – a library card.

Here are some examples of how libraries are participating:

For Library Card Sign-up Month, the Yuma (Az.) County Library District will partner with a local radio station to promote Library Card Sign-up Month. The radio station will feature a :30 second public service announcement (PSA), as well as a 3-minute interview with the library's community relations manager. Also in honor of Library Card Sign-up Month, the library’s Friends group will offer drawings for $20 gift certificates to the Friends store and ZPS Miniature Golf will offer drawings to win "Party Packs" (pizza, soda, ice cream and two free rounds of golf) for new library card sign-ups.

The Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library will host visits from the Memphis Grizzlies’ mascot Grizz, the University of Memphis’ mascot Pouncer and the Memphis Redbirds’ mascot Rockey the Redbird to remind parents and children about the importance of having a library card.

The Wauconda (Ill.) Area Library Distict partners with local businesses every year to show library users just how valuable a library card can be. Library users can receive discounts at over 155 local business when they show their library card. Services include everything from a round of free bowling at Wauconda Bowl to $500 off closing costs from Re/MAX. Also, during the month of September, libraries users that check out 10 items or more will be entered in a drawing to win gift cards and gift baskets donated by area businesses.

The Fresno (Calif.) Country Library tied in its summer reading program, Be creative @ your library, with Library Card Sign-up Month. Children were asked to “be creative” and design their own library card. The winning submission will be used on cards in September. The library further promotes Library Card Sign-up Month using activity sheets designed for the Kids! @ your library campaign, which were branded with Library Card Sign-up Month.

Libraries looking for materials to help promote Library Card Sign-up Month locally can download print and audio PSAs featuring WNBA Star and Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair Candace Parker. ALA will customize the print PSA at no charge with a library’s logo. For information and to download PSAs visit www.ala.org/librarycardsignup.

Other promotional materials, including a sample press release, letter to the editor, proclamation, PSA scripts and Smartest Card logos and buttons, can also be found at www.ala.org/librarycardsignup.

Created by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the ALA, and the Campaign for America’s Libraries, the Smartest Card campaign was developed in 2004 to promote the library card as the important card in every wallet.

PLA offers Smartest Card merchandise at its Café Press store Library Store…Library Stuff ( www.cafepress.com/librarystore). Smartest Card items include messenger and tote bags, mouse pads, note cards and license plate frames.

Library Card Sign-up Month was launched in 1987. Since then, thousand of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

The Campaign for America’s Libraries, ( www.ala.org/@yourlibrary) is ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations that advocate the importance of the library in American society.