As Camden County students go back to school this September, the Camden County Library System wants to make sure that all children have one of the most important school supplies — a library card.
Owning a library card provides students the resources they need to compete academically. Most public libraries (89.6 percent) provide students free access to databases of news articles, encyclopedias and test preparation materials, as well as homework help and other resources.
In addition, public libraries are the number one place for free Internet access, an important resource for families without a home Internet connection when 96 percent of school districts require students to use the Internet to complete their homework.
“Today’s libraries provide all types of students with the tools they need to succeed,” says Linda Devlin as director of the Camden County Library System. She points out that the library system offers special sections on its website that provide access to homework help for both children and high school students. Kids World and the Teen Zone can be found on the library’s website at www.camdencountylibrary.org .
Each month throughout the year the library offers scores of programs and events designed for students of all ages. Everything from story times, teen book clubs, craft workshops and special programs like a teen video contest and festival held just a few weeks ago. The Riletta L. Cream Ferry Ave. Branch even offers a homework club for students in grades three through eight that meets once a week on Thursday afternoons starting Sept. 22.
“Libraries provide young readers with exciting and engaging programs that make learning fun. Now more than ever, a library card is the most important school supply of all,” stresses Devlin.
Getting a library card is easy. Residents of 27 member communities are eligible for a free library-system card. Owners of properties or businesses that operate in a member community are eligible as are others.
A list of member communities is available on the website, and residents of non-member communities can get a library card on a subscription-fee basis, which is explained on the website. Residents can also visit one of the seven CCLS branches located in Bellmawr, Camden, Gloucester Twp., Haddon Twp., Merchantville, Winslow Twp. or Voorhees to find out about joining the system and getting a card.
The American Library Association, the New Jersey Library Association and libraries across the country have designated September as Library Card Sign-up Month since 1987 to remind parents that a library card is an essential school supply.