Besides being Charlie Brown’s sidekick, Snoopy has been known as The Flying Ace, The Masked Marvel, and Man’s Best Friend, but this September, Snoopy will add a new title to his resumé – Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-Up Month.
Every year in September, Fort Bend County Libraries joins with the American Library Association and other public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card. Snoopy was chosen as the national honorary chair of the campaign to help remind parents and caregivers, children and teens that the coolest card of all is a library card!
Throughout the month of September, visitors at George Memorial Library in Richmond can see how FBCL library cards have changed over the years. Library cards from the late 1970s to the present will on display on the 2nd-floor landing of the library.
A library card is a key tool in achieving academic success. Studies show that children who are read to in the home -- and who use the library -- perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.
Today’s libraries are more than a place of quiet study. They are also creative and engaging community centers where students can collaborate on projects, access new technologies, and utilize a variety of print and digital resources. Most importantly – librarians are on hand to help recommend materials suitable for various ages and interests.
A library card becomes even more valuable when someone wants to access many of the library’s online resources for reliable information on science, history, and literary subjects. The databases include authoritative research information that the Internet search engines such as Google or Yahoo cannot access, and they include citation assistance as well. The cost of subscribing to these databases as an individual would make them unaffordable to many people, but a library card levels the playing field by making them available to everyone free – as long as you have a library card.
“We want to remind people that a library card gives them access to many library resources online 24/7,” said Clara Russell, library director. “The library’s resources that can be utilized through our website – such as the databases, Homework Help, OverDrive eBooks, Hoopla digital movies and music, and other online services – can be accessed at any computer outside the library that has an Internet connection.”
The library’s free online Homework Help (Brainfuse) tutoring service provides homework assistance in a broad range of subjects in both English and Spanish for students in grades K through 12, free of charge. This tutoring program is an Internet-based service that provides library patrons with live, on-demand homework help, seven days a week, from 3:00 to 11:00 pm. Certified tutors are experienced in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English/Language Arts.
A library card provides free access to movies, music, software, and books for the whole family. Libraries also offer a wide range of other items to lend to children and their families, including story kits, toy kits, games, and puzzles.
Library cards are free to all Texas residents and may be obtained by completing a library-card application and presenting a government-issued photo ID and proof of current Texas residence at any FBCL location. There is no minimum age requirement.
For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit any of the branches in the Fort Bend County library system, call the library’s Public Information Office at 281-633-4734, or see the library’s website and click on the “Online Library Card Application” link.