The most important back-to-school supply for students is free
Paper. Pencils. Markers. Notebooks. They are part of the long back-to-school shopping list parents face to get their children ready for another school year. But, the most important school supply of all is absolutely free, lasts for years and is more valuable than all the other supplies combined … a Library Card.
September is Library Card Sign Up Month, and Charleston County Public Library is encouraging county residents to sign
up for a free card – adding it to every child’s school supply list and to every adult’s wallet or key ring. This nationwide campaign is held each September to promote signing up in conjunction with the start of school. Studies have shown that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to use the library as a source of lifelong learning.
In an effort to reach students as they or transition from one school to another, Library staff visit schools with a special focus on students in kindergarten and sixth grade. In 2009, more than 7,000 new cards were issued during the county’s campaign with approximately 3,200 of those students receiving their first Library card.
Adults registering for a Library Card during September will receive a $2 Booksale Bucks Coupon that can be used during the Friends of the Library’s 2010 That Big Booksale set for Oct. 7-10 at the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium. Also during the month, current cardholders who have lost their card can get a free replacement, a service that normally costs $2.
In Charleston County, students can get help through the Library’s Ask-A-Question reference service where they can get help from a Reference Librarian by visiting a branch, calling 805-6930, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org orsending an Instant Message to ccplhelp through AIM, MSN Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger. The system’s Reference Librarians answer more questions each year than any other public library in the state – with nearly 2 million questions answered last fiscal year.
The Library’s Web site – www.ccpl.org – also offers Homework Help under Services for Children and provides free access to dozens of reliable reference databases in its Resources section, many of them available remotely simply by logging in with a Library card number.
Charleston County Public Library has more than 1.1 million books, nearly 100,000 DVDs and videos, more than 2,300 magazines, newspapers and periodicals subscriptions, about 45,000 audio books and music CDs, nearly 175 electronic subscriptions and databases, plus hundreds of public use computers at the system’s 16 locations.
The Library circulated more than 3.8 million items last budget year and attracted more than 116,000 area residents to its various programs, classes, lectures and workshops.