Library Buzz for September 9 Edition

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I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card,” said Laura Bush. She’s a former librarian, so we can assume some bias – but I’ve heard the same sentiment from many public library patrons over the years.

So, what if you don’t have a library card? How do you get one at Roanoke Valley Libraries?

First, make sure you haven’t simply lost or forgotten a card you once had. If you think there’s the teeniest chance you may have had a card in the past, call any RVL library branch to find out if you have an account. If you have an account, we can tell you your card number and PIN so you can use it immediately, and we’ll work with you to update the account if that’s needed.

Let’s assume that you know for dead certain that you don’t have a library card with us. You can sign up for an e-card online at RVL.info. An e-card gives you immediate access to digital resources (like e-books) and allows you to place holds on physical materials. However, you can’t check out physical items until you finish the process.

Whether you have an e-card and want to check out physical items, or you just want to get the whole process done in one swoop, we have an easy drive-through solution. Stop by any RVL library (see a list on RVL.info) during curbside service hours. We’ll ask for your photo ID – driver’s license is perfect – and if it has an old address on it, we’ll ask for proof of current address (like a power bill). If you don’t have an e-card, we may ask you to fill out a form so we can be sure we’re entering your information correctly. The whole process just takes a few minutes, and presto! You have a library card and have access to absolutely everything we offer.

If you have a child enrolled in Botetourt County Public Schools, watch for an email or notice inviting you to get a library card for your child. There’s a simple form you can fill out and send to school with your child, and we’ll get a library card back to you. We realize that with virtual days, it can be hard to get the materials you need from school, so a huge thanks to BCPS for working with us to open up additional resources through the public libraries! (The school librarians are amazing, by the way.)

I have at least a dozen public and academic library cards floating around in my collection from different places I’ve lived or studied. Excessive, I know! But each one is a key that unlocks yet another treasure trove of ideas and information for me, just as it does for every user at each library. During September’s National Library Card Sign-Up Month, we librarians take a step back to appreciate how much a library card provides for our communities – and it’s all free. If you’re not a member now, we hope you will be soon!

Julie Phillips

Botetourt County Libraries