Get a Library Card…And Another…And Another

I can’t imagine anyone not having a library card. When you were young, we’d go to the library regularly to check out bags full of books. Before taking off for a long car trip, we’d load up on books on tape or later, books on CD.

Spending time flipping through books, looking at displays and selecting bookmarks provided a good opportunity to relax after school or escape the heat on a summer afternoon. Going to the library was always a treat.

Now I use the library much differently. Today I walked into the doors of a library for the first time in over nine months when we went to the Micanopy Branch of the Alachua County Library, and I left without checking out a single item. The visit today was simply to renew my library card. Yes, my Alachua County library card. One of three library cards I carry in my wallet.

Did you know you most counties in Florida have agreements with surrounding counties to provide library services to their residents? As a Marion County resident, I have a card for the libraries in my home county, and in addition to my Alachua County card, I also have one for Lake County. In fact, the last time I stepped inside a library, it was the one closest to our house. One in Lake County where I did check out books before attending a presentation on the history of cattle ranching in Florida.

Most of my library use today doesn’t require leaving home. I check one digital books that are magically sent to my Kindle and audiobooks (no more cassettes or CDs) that I listen to on my phone and best of all, magazines, dozens of magazines every month, that I read on my Kindle or iPad. It’s even possible to download music. And with different resources available in each county, the choices seem to be endless.

If your library card isn’t up-to-date, go in and renew it, and then start exploring all of the digital resources. And then go to your neighboring counties to add to your library card collection.

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I may have to stop in a branch of the Citrus County Library this summer. Are four library cards too many?

Show a Little Library Love

April is School Library Month and next week is National Library Week, the perfect time to show a little love to a library.

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Each of you enjoyed the library media centers while you were in school. Learning to care for books, story time with felt boards, author studies, and weekly visits to check out books helped you develop a love of reading. Participation in library sponsored reading programs and competing on Book Bowl Teams created fond memories for each of you.

In addition, we spent many days at the Marion County Public Library checking out items, using research materials, and participating in events. We’d leave the building with bags of books providing hours of fun and then spend many more hours trying to locate all of the items we checked out. And despite the fact, we paid many fines for missing due dates, I never looked at “fines” as negative. We just made regular donations to the library…required donations, but ones put to good use.

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One way you can show a little library love is to sign the Declaration for the Right to Libraries which recognizes ten benefits of libraries.

  1. Libraries empower  the individual.
  2. Libraries support literacy and life long learning.
  3. Libraries strengthen families.
  4. Libraries are the great equalizer.
  5. Libraries build communities.
  6. Libraries protect our right to know.
  7. Libraries strengthen our nation.
  8. Libraries advance research and scholarship.
  9. Libraries help us better understand each other.
  10. Libraries preserve our nation’s cultural heritage.

In celebration of National Library Week, library lovers are being asked to tweet about how the library has changed their life using the hashtags #Lives Change and #NLW14 or snap a library selfie to post. You can even win a Kindle Fire if you participate!

To be entered in the grand-prize drawing your text or photo library story must be posted to Twitter, Facebook or Flickr using the hashtags #LivesChange and #NLW14 or added to the @ your library story collection between 9:00 a.m. CDT Monday, April 14 and and noon CDT on Friday, April 18, 2014.

Visit the library or click here to sign the Declaration for the Rights to Libraries or post your story or photo or better yet, do all three! Show a little library love!

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