By Frank Schneegas Special to the Express
This September, Yolo County Library will join with the American Library Association and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-Up Month, an initiative to remind every community member that a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning. All children through age 17 who sign up for a library card or use their existing library card in September will receive a special prize, and everyone who registers for a library card during the month will receive a free reusable bag. Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children. Studies show children who are read to in the home and use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifelong learning. Through access to technology, media resources and educational programs, libraries provide people of all ages the opportunity to pursue their dreams and passions. Yolo County community members now have even more incentive to get a library card as late fees for overdue materials have been eliminated. Yolo County Library cardholders have access to print resources, e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines; materials in languages other than English; research databases and online learning tools; free and discounted museum passes; and specialty checkouts including themed Storytime and School Readiness kits, children’s Bilingual Backpacks which feature picture books in English and Spanish, Read Around Yolo book-in-a-bag kits for book clubs, Health and Wellness and Memory Care kits, and Discovery kits — multi-resource kits on topics such as bird watching, meditation, sewing, wood crafting and even a telescope for budding astronomers. Yolo County Library branches offer free, fun and educational programs and activities for all ages. While the pandemic has prevented many in-person activities, the library is currently offering virtual storytimes for children and families, English conversation groups for adults, and gardening workshops with UC Davis Master Gardeners, along with other online events. Look for take-and-make craft kits at your local branch library to try something new. Check with your local branch for specific events. “A library card provides opportunity for discovery and access to a rich and diverse world,” said Marley Dias, honorary Library Card Sign-Up Month chair and author, executive producer and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks. “It empowers you to make change and experience new stories.” Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been on each September to mark the beginning of the school year. For information about how to sign up for a library card and library programs, visit any of the Yolo County Library branches or the library webpage at www.yolocountylibrary.org, or connect with the Yolo County Library on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yolocountylibrary.org.