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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

How much is your library card worth?

The American Library Association sets aside every September as "Library Card Sign-Up Month." If you don't have a card for your public library, well, it's the perfect time to get one! Of course, those of us who work in libraries have a natural appreciation for the value of a library card. How about you? Have you ever considered how much your library card is worth to you?

Your library card is a free movie ticket, an intellectual gateway, a remedy for boredom and music to your ears. Getting your books from the library is cheaper and almost always faster than even the online booksellers - and you get service from real, live, friendly people and we never charge for returns. :) (Um, we do charge when you don't return something, however...) What's better - watching a movie in a crowded, noisy cineplex with gum stuck under your chair or watching one of the library's DVDs at home, on the couch (gum optional), with your sweetie or your family, for free? Your Des Plaines Public Library card gives you immediate access to our own vast collections and those of all the other North Suburban Library System libraries. Go online through our Web site and you can search more than 20 libraries at the same time, order items through Interlibrary Loan and place holds on materials - all you need is a library card and a computer with Internet service. Your library card puts the motion into poetry, the help into self-help, and allows you to put into your own piggy bank what you might have spent on books, movies and music.

Would you like to learn just how much money you save every time you use your library card? The North Suburban Library System has developed a "Return on Investment" calculator, available right here. Next time you check out an armful of library materials, use this quick calculator to determine how much you would have had to pay for the same items if you had gone to a retailer. As the North Suburban Library System says,
"Your library is good for your community and is also good for your personal bottom line."

In celebration of Library Card Sign-Up Month, the PlainTalk blog will be featuring articles and even some videos about the value of libraries and library cards all through September. In fact, during September, you can save a whole lot more with your Des Plaines Public Library card - we've partnered with the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry and 25 local businesses to offer you discounts, special values and free gifts all month long! To see a list of participating businesses, click here. Come on, Des Plaines -- Show Us Your Library Card!

To learn more about Library Card Sign-Up Month, visit the American Library Association's Web site.

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