Get yourself a card

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

With students returning to school during the past few weeks — and a whole new crop of them entering school for the first time — school librarians, who are now often known as media specialists or some similar term, are taking advantage of the opportunity to introduce entirely new groups to the wonders of the school library.

That room with the couches, the comfy chairs, the tables and all those books isn’t just a place for high-school-aged boys to meet girls, though it probably will always hold that attraction for some guys. In fact, and unsurprisingly, it’s a great place to find a new book, magazine or newspaper to read or to do research for an upcoming school project.

That’s the message school librarians will be pushing in the coming weeks, and with a bit of luck and a lot of persistence, they’ll help to instill a love of reading and an appreciation of the place where their charges can always go to borrow free books and other media.


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Hence, it’s appropriate that the American Library Association has designated September as 2012 Library Card Sign-Up Month. Public libraries offer an even broader range of benefits than most primary or secondary school libraries, and the smart student will double her benefits by making sure to have a membership in both types of facilities.

But public libraries aren’t just for students, and many adults make the mistake of failing to take advantage of their offerings once they’ve moved on from school. Suffolk’s libraries are rich sources of information that cannot be found anywhere else, not even online, and they provide what is easily the cheapest entertainment available in town.

The library system holds over 220,000 materials including books, newspapers, magazines, and audiobooks available on compact discs, cassette tapes and MP3s. In addition, the library system has access to databases with journals and articles, news and reading suggestions, and patrons can access e-book libraries as well.

Student or adult, here is some solid advice: Get yourself a library card and take advantage of what the library has to offer. You won’t find a better deal anywhere.