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

Megan McFarlane

Campaign Coordinator

Campaign for America's Libraries

ALA Public Information Office



For Immediate Release

September 1, 2010

Libraries across the country celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month in September

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 and sign them up for the smartest card of all - a library card.

Launched in 1987, 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. Library Card Sign-up Month is sponsored by the American Library Association

A new print public service announcement (PSA) featuring NBA star and Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month Dwyane Wade reminds parents and children that a library card is the most important tool in achieving academic success. The PSA also highlights all of the resources libraries offer, delivering the message that they are available for free with a library card.

This year’s celebration takes place at a time when the decade-long trend of increased library usage has accelerated during the current economic downturn, according to the 2010 Harris Interactive poll. The 2010 Harris Interactive poll can been found at,

The poll also indicates, more than 70 percent of American’s feel that by providing free access to materials and resources, public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed. In fact as of 2009, 80 percent of libraries offer free homework help to students in their communities. Also, nearly all public libraries (99.1 percent) provide free Internet access. Additionally, 71 percent of those libraries are 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); civil service exam materials (75 percent); and offer software or other resources (69 percent) to help patrons create resumes and other employment materials.

For more information on ALA's Library Card Sign-up Month please visit the Library Card Sign-up Month Web press kit at, or contact Megan McFarlane, coordinator for The Campaign for America’s Libraries, at (312) 280-2148,

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.

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 62,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information. For more information on the ALA please visit