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Your library card: the smartest card in your wallet

by: SUBMITTED GRAPHIC - Your library card gives you free access to more than 15,000 e-books from Library2Go.September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when public libraries nationwide join with the American Library Association to make sure their residents have access to the wide variety of resources that public libraries have to offer people who have library cards.

At the West Linn Public Library, LINCC (Libraries in Clackamas County) library card holders can check out fiction and nonfiction books, graphic novels, audiobooks, DVDs, music CDs, video games and magazines—with all formats available for library users of all ages. Library patrons can also use their library cards from home to reserve library items (also known as putting items on hold). E-books and audiobooks can be downloaded and put on your device of choice.

Computers and the Internet are available at the library for card holders. Online homework databases can be accessed from library and home computers. Cultural passes, which grant free admission to area cultural venues, can be reserved and checked out with a card.

“Our library provides a wide variety of materials in numerous formats, all which can be accessed with a free library card. It’s the smartest card you can have,” said West Linn Public Library Director Holly Mercer. “With a collection of more than 100,000, we have items of value and relevance for all ages. Our collection serves to enhance the cultural, literary, aesthetic and educational pursuits and personal enjoyment of library users.”

Mercer has set a goal of having 18,000 library card holders in West Linn.

“We need approximately 250 more new registrations this month to meet our goal,” she said.

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As the teen services librarian I attended West Linn High School’s back-to-school night on Sept. 15 to promote the library and make sure that students and their families have cards. It was great to see the number of West Linn kids and families who have library cards and to get the support of teachers and administrators. And yet, I was surprised to discover there were still students and their parents who were unaware of everything that is available to them for free at West Linn Public Library.

“Why buy when you can borrow?” is a common theme when talking to uninitiated library users. See westlinnoregon.gov/library/library-use-value-calculator for the value of services your household can receive from using the library instead of buying or renting books and movies. The savings can be significant. In addition to the cost savings, actually being in the library will introduce a world of opportunities: concerts and performances, educational programs, story times, visiting authors and guest speakers.

There is no minimum age for applying for a West Linn library card. The co-signature of the financially responsible parent or guardian is required for children under 18. You will need to bring photo identification and something that shows your current address to sign up for a LINCC library card.

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit West Linn Public Library in person or visit the library online at westlinnoregon.gov/library. If you don’t have your library card, get one today!




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