September is library card sign-up month


The value of today’s libraries goes beyond books. Librarians are leaders in their communities – helping people of any age to find what they need to help improve their quality of life. This September, the Portsmouth Public Library is joining with the American Library Association and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-up Month, an initiative to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card.

Libraries build a foundation for children’s future success starting from the earliest stages of development. Librarians play a key role in helping children develop the basic tools for school readiness by teaching families the components of early literacy. As of 2010, children’s programs accounted for nearly two thirds of library programming in the United States, with more than 2.3 million children’s programs nationwide. Older students can also find tools for success at their local libraries, where they can access high-speed Internet and digital tools, as well as working with trained professionals on how best to use these resources.

As new technologies evolve, libraries continue to lead the way in providing equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet service at home. Close to 90 percent of libraries offer digital literacy training to help students of all ages navigate today’s changing world; many also offer high-tech innovations like laser cutters and 3D printers, providing hands-on opportunities for creative exploration.

Resources at the Portsmouth Public Library are available to anyone with a library card. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement.

“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” says Katie Williams, Publicity/Program Manager “For preschool-age children, we offer early literacy resources and story times to encourage school readiness; for older children and teens, we supplement education with multidisciplinary programs; and for nontraditional students, we have GED resources. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”

Throughout September, the library will host several activities! For information on upcoming programs and how to sign up for a library card go online at www.yourppl.org, call 740-354-5688, or visit any Portsmouth Public Library location in person.

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