Library cards—a great promotional tool

Contact: Megan McFarlane

Campaign Coordinator

Campaign for America’s Libraries

ALA Public Information Office


For Immediate release

May 19, 2009

(CHICAGO) Librarians can use the value of a library card to promote their libraries.

During Library Card Sign-up Month, the American Library Association and libraries across the country highlight the library card as the “smartest card” in every American’s wallet.

Library cards offer users a wide variety of free resources: access to computers and the Internet; financial literacy skills; assistance with job searches; resources to help small businesses; DVD rentals; storytime sessions; and, of course, books.

But library cards have value for librarians as well, whether they are promoting public awareness about their library’s green efforts or programming for children.

The Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, N.C., used the Association for Library Service to Children’s “Kids! @ your library” slogan “So much to see. So much to do. @ your library” to engage its community and encourage children in grades K-5 to register for a library card. The library has since reported that 20,000 students have signed-up for library cards.

The Clermont County Public Library of Clermont County, Ohio recently redesigned its library cards and now offers library users the choice of seven library cards, including one that supporting the library’s green initiative, which reads “Go green @ your library.”

“It fit in perfectly with the ‘green’ overhaul we’ve been working on,” said Amy Prewitt, the library’s media relations manager. “Besides, the library is the ultimate recycling center — we use and reuse the same materials over and over again.”

Prior to the card’s redesign, the library used the “Smartest Card” to promote its services.

Berkeley County Public Library of Berkeley County, S.C. uses its card to remind visitors that there is “Something for everyone @ your library.” The library card is also available as a key fob.

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

The Campaign for America’s Libraries is the 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 in part by ALA’s Library Champions.Â

The “Smartest Card” was created by the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of ALA.