As part of Library Card Sign-Up Month, the American Library Association and libraries across the country are touting the abundant benefits of library cards.
Libraries are an invaluable resource as they provide all community members with free and equal access to information and educational opportunities, such as book discussions, computer classes, résumé writing workshops and citizenship courses. They are vital spaces for children, as they promote literacy and encourage children to follow their curiosities. Libraries also provide free access to technology such as Wi-Fi, computers and printers. Not to mention, if you are a bookworm, utilizing your local library can save you a lot of money. Whether you want to research family history, join a club, search and apply for a job or just enjoy a quiet place to read and relax, you can do it all at your local library.
How to Sign Up for a Library Card
Lancaster County is home to 14 libraries, as well as two branch libraries (the Mountville Branch of Lancaster Public Library and the Salisbury Township Branch of Pequea Valley Public Library). Although each library is its own entity, they are all connected by the Library System of Lancaster County (LSLC), which helps to coordinate collaborative efforts and support services among the libraries. An LSLC library card is valid at all libraries in the county. Library cards can be issued for free to any Lancaster County resident above the age of 5. To sign up for a card, complete a library card application and then submit the form along with proof of address at your local library.
A Sampling of Services
Lancaster County’s libraries offer more than just books. There are endless subjects to learn about at workshops, discussions and clubs, ranging from financial literacy and career advice to knitting and music. Some local libraries offer passport services. Many local libraries initiate efforts to aid underserved communities. What follows is a sampling of the unique services, programs and events that libraries across the county are currently offering.
The Library System of Lancaster County Bookmobile makes visits all over the county, bringing books, DVDs, audiobooks and more to retirement homes, nursing facilities, low-income housing communities, classrooms and Amish communities.
Lancaster Public Library features an Autism Resource Center, which provides hundreds of print, audio and video materials on the subject of autism. The center also offers a dedicated space that accommodates and supports the sensory, communication and social/emotional needs of individuals with autism, including fidget toys, games, puzzles and more. The library is also home to the Duke Street Business Center, which is a resource for anyone looking to start or grow their business or nonprofit organization. In spring 2023, Lancaster Public Library will be moving into a new building on Queen Street at Ewell Plaza. The building will be fully ADA-accessible and equipped with state-of-the-art technology and resources.
During the month of September, Ephrata Public Library is offering a Food for Fines donation program. Each non-perishable food item donated will equal $1 removed from overdue fines on Ephrata-owned items. Ephrata Area Social Services will distribute all food donations.
Throughout the month of September, grab a book and some food during Milanof-Schock Library’s Food Truck Thursdays. Featured food trucks include Dutch Country Pretzels (September 15), Papa Sneaux (September 15), Premium Shaved Ice (September 22), What’s For Supper (September 22), Softie Whirl (September 29) and The Pretzel Place (September 29).
There’s nothing cozier than relaxing with a book and a cup of coffee. At Elizabethtown Public Library, you can stop in at their on-site café, Elizabethtown Coffee Company. All proceeds benefit the library. The mission of the café is to increase awareness of authors, cultures and realities from around the globe. Each month the library selects a different location to explore. Throughout the month of September, the café is featuring coffee and information about the Malabar Coast of India.
Adamstown Area Library provides a book/movie recommendation service where librarians make suggestions based on a short survey of what you are looking for, as well as your interests. Adamstown Area Library also offers a Library for Dogs along their front sidewalk, where dog owners can take or leave a stick, ball or toy for their furry friends.
Lititz Public Library is hosting Backyard Storytime events on Wednesdays and Thursdays from September 7-November 3. Children of all ages and their caregivers can enjoy songs, nursery rhymes and stories together in the library’s backyard. The library also offers a Telescope Loan Program in partnership with the Astronomy Enthusiasts of Lancaster County, as well as a Genealogy Room that features historical information about the Lititz area and local families.
For more information about libraries in Lancaster, visit lancasterlibraries.org/find-a-library.