Sign up for the smartest card of all – a library card

For Immediate Release
Thu, 08/26/2010


Megan McFarlane

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

CHICAGO - Academic success has never been more affordable – in fact it’s free. Parents can help open the door to lifelong learning for their children by signing them up for the smartest card of all - a library card.

Launched in 1987 and organized by the American Library Association's Campaign for America's Libraries, Library Card Sign-up Month is a time when public and school libraries across the country join together to remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. 

This year’s celebration takes place at a time when the decade-long trend of increased library usage is not only continuing, but accelerating during the current economic downturn, according to the 2010 Harris Interactive poll.

The poll also indicates that more than 70 percent of Americans feel that public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed by providing free access to material and resources.  In fact, as of 2009, 80 percent of libraries offer free homework help to students in their communities, and almost all public libraries (99.1 percent) provide free Internet access. In addition, 71 percent of those libraries provide the only free public access point to the Internet in their communities.

The library also offers a wide range of tools for adults looking to learn new skills. A vast majority of public libraries help patrons complete online job applications (67 percent); provide access to job databases and other online resources (88 percent) and civil service exam materials (75 percent); and offer software or other resources (69 percent) to help patrons create resumes and other employment materials.

Libraries looking for materials to help promote Library Card Sign-up Month locally can download print and audio PSAs featuring NBA star and Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair Dwyane Wade.  ALA will customize the print PSA at no charge with a library’s logo. For information and to download PSAs visit

Newly redesigned Smartest Card logos are available at Other promotional materials, including a sample press release, letter to the editor and proclamation are also available on the website.

The Campaign for America’s Libraries, ( 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.