Today’s libraries are about more than books. They are creative educational spaces for learners from birth to high school and beyond. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, a time when the Middlesboro Public Library/Pineville Public Library joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card.
Librarians provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development, by teaching parents and caregivers the components of early literacy which help children develop the basic tools for school readiness. As of 2010, libraries in the United States offered more than 2.3 million children’s programs, which account for nearly two thirds of all library programming.
Older students can access high-speed Internet, digital tools and the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use them. Librarians provide guided training in digital media and grow digital literacy skills. Libraries also provide 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 access in the home. Libraries are also a training ground for students of all ages to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits.
Resources at the Bell County Public Libraries are available to anyone who has a library card. For residents of Bell County this is a free service, simply provide proof of residency. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement. Programs for our local youth include toddler times, story times, young adult programs, drop-in craft days, 4-H and more. Contact your local branch for more information.
“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” says Michele Lawson, Bell County Public Libraries Acting Director. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and story times to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs and for nontraditional students we offer GED resources. We offer book clubs and other adult programs for our more mature patrons. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”
Throughout the course of the year, the Middlesboro Library will host a number of activities, including Monday’s are Murder Book Club, Time for Tea and Thee Book Club, Adult Beginner Computer Classes, Teen Movie Nights, Story Times, Toddler Times and Breakfast with Santa.
The Pineville Library will host a number of activities throughout the year including The Book Bunch Book Club, Mystery Loves Company Book Club, Frugal Friday, Adult Beginner Computer Classes, Teen Advisory Group, Afternoon Story Time and Morning Story Time.
For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit the Middlesboro or Pineville Library Branches in person or visit the library online at www.bellcpl.org.