From the bookshelf : Have you used your library card today?


The value of today’s libraries goes beyond books. Librarians are leaders in their communities – helping people of any age to find what they need to help improve their quality of life. This September, Bossard Library is joining with the American Library Association and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-up Month, an initiative to ensure community members carry the most important card in their wallet – a library card.

Libraries build a foundation for a child’s future success starting from the earliest stages of development. Librarians play a key role in helping children develop the basic tools for school readiness by teaching families the components of early literacy. Older students can also turn to the library for materials, programs, and other tools for success, including high-speed Internet and digital tools, while working with knowledgeable library staff.

A successful program offered to patrons of Bossard Library is Gale Courses for Public Libraries. Available from Bossard Library since March 2015, these online six-week college-level courses provide patrons the opportunity to broaden their horizons by taking advantage of hundreds of classes, with the most popular being “Discover Sign Language,” “Medical Terminology,” “Medical Coding,” “A to Z Grant Writing,” “Human Anatomy and Physiology,” as well as “Grammar Refresher.” Interested in learning to play the guitar? With a Bossard Library card, you can sign up for an online course to teach you how to do just that.

As new technologies evolve, libraries continue to lead the way in providing equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or Internet service at home. To help fill this technological gap in Gallia County, Bossard Library offers “Wi-Fi to Go,” a program whereby adult patrons can use their library card to borrow a Wi-Fi hotspot for a period of fourteen days. Another popular service that is available with a Bossard Library card is Hoopla Digital, which allows patrons to download music, comics, movies, television, and eBooks.

Your local library provides access and programs for patrons of all ages. For children ages birth through age three, Bossard Library offers a Pat-a-Cake Lapsit program during which infants to preschool age children (and their parents or caregivers) are provided with a fun, educational program which focuses on early literacy resources and story times to aid in school readiness. For older children and teens, the library supplements education with the annual summer reading program, and for nontraditional students, we have GED resources as well as the aforementioned Gale Courses for Public Libraries.

Bossard Library believes in offering adult programs of interest and educational value such as the upcoming appearance by Air Force One’s former chief steward John Haigh. That program will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19. Another upcoming program, “Glitz and Glamour in the White House” will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday September 26 and will feature Dr. Mari Halkovich, who will share the history, jewelry, and fashion of the Ohio Presidential First Ladies. In addition, community members are encouraged to attend the library’s upcoming Halloween Costume Exchange on Saturday, October 14 and the Fall Used Book Sale on Saturday, October 21.

Bossard Library not only provides a host of educational resources, but also offers patrons the opportunity to borrow books, eBooks, and audiovisual materials such as music CDs, Books on CD, and DVDs, for pleasure listening and viewing. In additional to these materials, Bossard Library offers patrons to ability to borrow other “non-traditional” library materials, such as a bicycle through our Book-a-Bike program or a Launchpad for children. Patrons are encouraged to enjoy a bike ride on the local Rails-to-Trails bike path, located near the library’s location on Spruce Street in Gallipolis. The library’s Launchpad lending program enables patrons to borrow colorful tablets pre-loaded with fun, educational content for children.

The library board, administration, and staff appreciate your financial support of the library, which enables the provision of a myriad of library programs and resources to our community members. A library card unlocks the door to a world of opportunities that will better one’s quality of life. If you have a library card, I encourage you to use it regularly and take advantage of all the opportunities it affords you. If you are not already carrying what will be the “smartest” card in your wallet, visit the library today to obtain your ticket to a world of opportunity.

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Have you used your library card today?

By Debbie Saunders

Contributing columnist

Debbie Saunders, MLIS, is library director for Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library.

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