Connect and plug in with your library card — September is Library Card Sign-up Month

For Immediate Release
Tue, 08/04/2015


Heather Cho

Media Relations Specialist

Public Awareness Office, ALA

American Library Association


CHICAGO — September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country promote the value of a library card and library services. From finding a job, starting a new business, to getting homework help and becoming more engaged in your community, a library card offers limitless opportunities to transform lives through education and lifelong learning. 

With a library card, patrons can check out so much more than books. No longer just repositories for printed materials, today’s libraries are serving as tech hubs, community centers and DIY spaces that are more about connecting and plugging in.

“A free library card is essential to people of all ages," said ALA President Sari Feldman. “Through our support of education, employment, entrepreneurship, engagement and empowerment, libraries are transforming to create individual opportunity and community progress. Libraries have proven to be a safe haven in times of crisis, a bridge across the digital divide and a catalyst for content creation through nontraditional resources such as 3D printers, recording studios, culinary classrooms and lendable tools.”

Libraries are excellent places to learn about technology. For example, the Denver Public Library offers DevCamps, free week-long sessions that pair teenagers with professional Web developers who expose them to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Also, in an effort to help library users navigate new technology and help residents connect across generations, the library in Spokane, Washington, trained local teenagers to teach older adults how to use mobile devices.

To meet the changing needs of patrons, libraries across the country are transforming beyond their traditional roles in order to better serve the public. When the public library in Red Hook, New York, heard from residents that a lack of public transportation was keeping people from accessing services, the library borrowed a van to take its programs directly to neighborhoods that need them the most. This summer, the van visited a local recreation park camp with its Red Hook Makes program to help children construct cardboard robots with moving parts attached to circuits and battery packs.

Another example of libraries turning outward and responding to community need by partnering with organizations is the library in San Jose, California. After residents told the library the dirty streets were damaging to civic pride, the library started a litter pick-up day and a neighborhood task force to make the Seven Trees neighborhood cleaner and safer.

Joining the ALA in efforts to increase library card registrations is Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair Snoopy, the world-famous beagle from the beloved Peanuts comics. Snoopy is appearing in digital and print PSAs promoting September Library Card Sign-up Month.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. It is a time when the ALA and libraries nationwide join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.

Library Card Sign-up Month is an initiative of the American Library Association. For more information on Library Card Sign-up Month, please visit