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Time to sign up for that library card


September is Library Card Sign-up Month, which means that, along with the American Library Association (ALA), Yakima Valley Libraries and libraries all over the U.S. are taking much-needed time to encourage kids and the adults in their lives to sign up for, or renew, their library cards.

It’s no accident that we celebrate Sign-up Month in September — for most of the U.S., this is officially back-to-school season, and as public-serving libraries, it’s our hope to see a library card, with all of its benefits and access to resources, included on every students’ list of essentials as they head back into the classroom.

To help with the campaign, this year, ALA has contracted some celebrity guests to help encourage kids and families to visit their local libraries in order to discover the value of a library card: Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” characters — Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Bo Peep.

According to ALA, throughout September, the Toy Story 4 gang will appear in all sorts of fun graphics, posters and social media posts, reminding “the public that signing up for a library card opens a world of infinite possibilities, resources, and services that help people pursue their passions.”

Whether you’re a card-carrying library lover or a student, Sign-up Month isn’t just for the kids; people of all ages are invited to join us as we celebrate the amazing bounty provided by a library card.

So, how can you get involved?

If you’re one of the fine folks who uses your library card just as much as you use your membership number at the grocery store, consider becoming an unofficial library ambassador — bring a friend with you on your next visit to the library, show them around, and pitch some of your favorite books or resources to them.

Or maybe you haven’t stepped foot inside a library since dial-up internet was the only kind of internet around—and that’s OK. Let’s start with something easy. Do you know where you nearest community library is located?

If not, find out by visiting, then pick a day to stop in to chat with staff, browse the shelves, and, of course, sign up for a library card.

Once you have that card in hand, how and where you use it up to you. Our robust digital collection of ebooks, magazines and streaming video are all accessible whether you’re at home or on the go, and we can’t wait for you to discover everything the public library has in store for you.

Finally, one more incentive to get you out the door and into your nearest library — the #GetLibraryCarded promotion.

Showing your library card gets you access to great things all year-round, but during Library Card Sign-up Month it will also get you the chance to win $100! Help the ALA spread the word about the value of libraries this September by snapping a picture with your library card and posting it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #GetLibraryCarded.

You’ll be automatically entered in a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card! Entries can also be submitted by posting as a comment or wall post on the I Love Libraries Facebook page.

Please don’t forget to cover up any personally identifiable information!

The promotion ends Sept. 22 and is being run solely by the American Library Association. You can find complete rules here: Official rules (PDF).

But whether you win $100, or not, the lasting value of your library card is practically priceless. So what are you waiting for? Come get carded at the library!

Krystal Corbray is programming and marketing librarian for Yakima Valley Libraries. Learn more at

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