By DENISE HERSCHEL
The American Library Association and libraries nationwide are celebrating September as Library Card Sign-Up Month, a time in which to remind parents, caregivers, and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning.
Since 1987, Library Card Sign-Up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure that every child signs up for their own library card. And, as kids have headed back to school full-time since March of 2020, there is no better time for them to sign up for a library card.
“This event encourages people to sign up for a library card. This year, the Bradley Beach Library will hold a drawing for a Kindle Fire tablet. Anyone who signs up for a library card or checks out library materials from Sept. 7 to Sept. 30 is eligible to fill out a ticket for the drawing,” according to Bradley Beach Library Director Ashley Foglia. “We will limit one entry per library card per day and you must present a physical library card at the time of check-out. The winning ticket will be drawn on Oct. 1.”
Foglia said that anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Bradley Beach can sign up for a card for free. This includes anyone renting or living in Bradley Beach, too. Anyone who lives outside of Bradley Beach can purchase a card. Non-residents pay $25 annually and non-resident senior citizens pay $15 annually.
She said, “libraries are for anyone and that they have helped people stay connected to each other, information, and the community.”
“Although it’s been different from our normal operations, we have used our creativity to continue to be a ‘great little library.’ We continue to provide engaging, relevant, and interesting programs for all library patrons while staying flexible as things change,” she said.
The summer months were a great option for the library and allowed them to utilize their outdoor spaces for some great programs, she said, including a drum circle and nature programs with the NJ Audubon Society. As for the upcoming months, she is hoping to use the nice weather to their advantage as long as possible. They will still have virtual programs and curbside programs available.
“The library has been open for regular hours for quite some time now. We still have curbside services available for anyone who requests them. As things have opened up in general, we have seen the requests for curbside materials drop off,” she said. “It was a great option when our services were limited and people were hesitant to enter public spaces. Our curbside crafts are consistently popular. The craft registrations fill up and often have waiting lists.”
At this time, all patrons regardless of vaccination status need to have masks on the lower level (children’s area) of the library. Children are welcome to browse books at the library. On the main level, vaccinated patrons do not have to wear masks. Computers are available on the main level of the library. Any unvaccinated patron or children ages 2 to 12 need to wear masks.
To find out more details about Library Card Sign-Up Month visit the library’s website at http://www.bradleybeachlibrary.org or call the library at 732-776-2995.