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At the Library: Library card is the key to a world of opportunity

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Over the years, public libraries have evolved (and still do) according to the needs and demands of their communities. They are not inert or obsolete institutions; on the contrary, public libraries are living, flexible, dynamic entities that adapt to social and technological changes to continue fulfilling their role of service to the community.

Libraries ensure that people have access to information and lifelong learning, regardless of their age, educational achievement, ethnicity, gender, language, income, physical limitations or geographical barriers. It can be said, without risk of being wrong, that public libraries strengthen the communities they serve and help create a more knowledgeable and just society.

If you are a user of the Yakima Valley Libraries, you know that one of the main benefits of having a public library in your community is the opportunity to receive a free library card that will allow you, among many other things, to explore new content, enjoy memorable readings and acquire new knowledge.

For example, with a Yakima Libraries card, you can:

Borrow up to 75 books, audiobooks, movies and music CDs.

Use public computers in any one of our 17 library locations throughout Yakima County: Mabton, Sunnyside, Granger, Zillah, Buena, Harrah, White Swan, Toppenish, Wapato, Moxee, Terrace Heights, Yakima (Central, Southeast and West Valley), Selah, Tieton and Naches.

Access electronic databases for free (search, print or save legal forms; find information and resources on immigration; discover grants and grant-making organizations using our Foundation Grant Center database, and more).

Download electronic books and audiobooks using the OverDrive and RBdigital platforms, and find Spanish-language digital materials through Odilo.

Watch streaming videos on your phone, computer or television using the OverDrive Screening Room or the Kanopy platform.

Take advantage of free access to Ancestry.com, where you can find a treasure trove of information about your relatives and ancestors.

Learn a new language using the Mango Language learning software.

Explore Lynda.com, which offers hundreds of high-quality, online courses taught by experts, and designed to help you acquire the knowledge and skills you need to achieve your personal, professional, and educational goals.

Study and prepare for the GED test with the use of study guides that you can borrow from any community library, or explore online study materials using Learning Express.

If you have not yet visited your community library and still do not have your Yakima Valley Libraries card, do not wait any longer! Libraries serve the whole community, and that includes you. What would you like to discover at the library?

• Francisco Garcia-Ortiz is public library services director for Yakima Valley Libraries. Learn more at www.yvl.org.

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