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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

September is Library Card Month

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, September 18, 2016

September is “Library Card Sign-up Month” all across the nation, reminding everyone that a card at the Public Library is a great item to have in your pocket.

 

Libraries have changed over the years in relationship to the providing library cards to the public.

 

At one time, we had a minimum age for a library card, but now library cards are issued to babies to get them started in the library habit.

 

With computer systems, library cards continue to be updated with new information as it is provided and an active library card is deleted from the system only after three years of inactivity.

 

Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian signature to be issued a library card.

 

People still identify a library card as something needed to checkout a book from a public library, but that little card has taken on new meanings and activities in the world of technology and libraries today.

 

Your library card opens up a whole new world of information and materials in today’s library.

 

You can go the Library Web Page at www.steubenvillelibrary.org and access the Ohio Web Library which accesses more than 40 databases and billions of pages of information by entering your library card number.

 

You can access our newest offering, called Hoopla, containing movies, eBooks, and thousands of online products for use or downloading, by entering your library card number.

 

You can download one of a half million eBooks to your device just like you would a regular paper book from the library shelves.

 

Tumble Books is a great database of children’s books and educational games for all ages, constantly changing with new offerings.

 

Flipster is an online source for eMagazines allowing you to read the latest periodicals online.

 

Rosetta Stone is a famous tool for learning foreign languages, and with your library card, offers basic training in 30 different languages.

 

Our biography, contemporary authors, and literary database are ideal for students of all ages working with classes in those subjects.

 

Ohio Public Libraries are linked through OPLIN, the Ohio Public Library Information Network; which was founded some 20 years ago to place Ohio Public Libraries front & center in the Internet technology.

 

We are also members of OHIONET, a membership organization that provides group discounts to libraries to acquire products and services in the information age.

 

We take advantage of the E-Rate program to link our libraries together, and provide fiber optic services to all of our library locations.

 

I obtained my first library card at age 8, as an elementary school student who went to our local public library on a school field trip.

 

My teacher had obtained all the necessary permissions from our parents, and library cards were issued to each of us that day.

 

Two libraries pounded out our library cards on the manual typewriters of the day, and passed them out at the end of the tour.

 

It was my prize of the day; a reason for my mother to take me to that building with all those books that I could take home, and come back for more.

 

I always felt that I was as smart as the books I could check out of the public library

 

When that first library card expired and I was issued a new card, the librarian broke the rules and let me keep that first library card dated 1962.  Yes, the old librarian still has that card and cherishes it greatly.

 

If your card has expired, or you have never had a library card, make September the time to obtain one of those magical cards.

 

You can access millions of online sources, and you can still checkout a book.  Our catalog of books accesses over 8 million books in 92 library systems, and some people are excited by borrowing a book from the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library to name just one, or maybe the Licking County District Library in Newark.

 

The world is yours at the barcode on your library card.