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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

12 Reasons to Love Your Library Card

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and we’re reminding everyone why a Fairfax County Public Library card really is the smartest card in your wallet. You already know it’s your gateway to books, audiobooks, magazines and movies. But we bet you don’t know about everything the library has to offer. So, put down that bestseller for a minute and check out just a few of the many ways a library card can add value to your life.

Rake in the Savings. Use the American Library Association’s handy Library Value Calculator to see how much money you save every month visiting the library. If you check out all 18 books mentioned in our Fractured Fairy Tales post from August 27th instead of purchasing them, you would save around $218! Hint: use the tab key to move between entries.

Find a Job. We can’t find a job for you, but we have the tools you need from preparing a resume to acing the interview and negotiating a salary. Ask a librarian about our online career center and Learning Express Library to get started, whether you are searching for a new job or starting a new career. Find more online career resources.

Help Your Child Get Ready to Read. Our storytime programs are designed to introduce the skills your child needs to be ready to read. Log on to our event calendar and select Event Type: Storytime to register your child in a program. Read more about the six crucial skills every preschooler should practice on our Early Literacy Outreach page.

Book a Free Meeting Room. If you need a meeting room for a nonprofit organization or educational, cultural or informational community meetings and programs, you don’t even need a library card to snag a space. Be sure to read through the meeting room guidelines before submitting your request.

Read to the Dog. A dog never judges! Let your child practice reading aloud in a stress-free and fun environment. Log on to our event calendar and select Event Type: Read to the Dog to schedule a session. You’ll find the library has lots of other great programs for kids as well.

Learn a Language. Log on to Mango Languages and finally get started on that language you always wanted to learn. Mango offers instruction in 63 languages, from Tagalog to English. Download the Mango app to take your language learning on the road.

Hop on the Internet. You don’t even need a library card to access Wi-Fi on your own device at library branches. No device? No worries. Use your library card to log on a public computer. We have more than 400 public computers.

Research Your Next Big Buy. Use our online Consumer Report search portal to find expert product reviews and ratings from the comfort of your own home. Need a new doctor or thinking about remodeling your house? Use a public computer at any branch to find ratings and reviews of local businesses from Consumers' Checkbook.

Make Homework a lot Less Stressful. Have a big assignment due? Come in early and let a librarian help you or your child find the books, articles and information they need to ace that assignment. In addition to books, we have a large number of online research resources available for searching from home.

Protect Your Retirement. Get the investment and business advice you need to safeguard your retirement nest egg. Log on to one of our many business and finance databases from home, including Morningstar and Valueline.

Download a Book from Home. Get all the information you need to start downloading library eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines and more in our July 9th blog post!

Figure Out What to Read Next. Our librarians can help you find the perfect book for you, whether your tastes lean to quirky biographies or fast-paced bestsellers. We have the knowledge and tools to help you select a great read. Readers at home can use resources from the ReadersLink page, including Novelist, an online reading recommendation tool that lets you pinpoint why you enjoy a book and find similar books and authors.

-Rebecca Wolff, Centreville Regional Library & Rebecca Molineaux, George Mason Regional Library

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