Library cards

Dominique Hyatt and her daughter, Leah, received new library cards at the Statham Public Library in Barrow County. Dominique had hers replaced, and Leah received one for the first time.

The Piedmont Regional Library System is offering new redesigned library cards to its patrons in honor of Library Card Sign-Up Month. During the month of September, the American Library Association and all libraries nationwide are urging everyone to sign up for a library card.  

As part of Library Card Sign-Up Month, all 10 of Piedmont Regional’s libraries in Banks, Barrow, and Jackson counties are issuing newly redesigned library cards to all of their patrons, both new and old, for free, according to a news release.

Patrons can choose between three designs — the newly redesigned classic pine needle PINES logo, a colorful, whimsical animal caricature, or a “very special, limited-edition,” commemorative 20th anniversary multi-colorful handprint card. 

“There is nothing more empowering than signing up for your own library card. It is the first step on the path to academic achievement, and a lifelong love of learning,” said PRLS director Beth McIntyre.

Piedmont Regional’s 20th anniversary card has extra meaning because, 20 years ago, the creation of PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services) made it possible for all 10 libraries, along with over 300 branch libraries in over 146 counties, to offer every library patron in Georgia equal access to information through its shared collection of 11 million library materials.

“We consider it a privilege to be a part of this amazing system and are excited to celebrate this important anniversary in conjunction with Library Card Sign-Up Month. What better way to celebrate two important events than offering such unique cards to both our new and old patron’s — for free!” said Kelli McDaniel, PRLS assistant director. 

In the last 20 years, the collective of PRLS and PINES has “eliminated geographic and socioeconomic barriers, strengthened access to vast amounts of information and has saved Georgia’s public libraries $12 million in one-time cost and more than $79 million in ongoing cost,” leaders said.

Today nearly 2 million Georgians have PINES library cards and a card holder in every county in the state.

“PINES made it possible to create a statewide ‘borderless library’ to provide equal access of information for all Georgians,” McDaniel said.

To get one of the free cards, patrons can visit their home library in one of the10 regional locations during September and ask for a new anniversary card or one of the other two new designs. 

All 10 of Piedmont Regional’s libraries are now open to the public. Check your home library’s website and Facebook page to learn about specific times, services and materials readily available to the public right now, leaders said.

If you don’t already have a library card and you can't get to one of their 10 library locations, that is not a problem, leaders said, adding that PRLS has made it possible for anyone to sign up online for an e-card by going to the PRLS library website, prlib.org, and clicking on the link to get a new library card. 

After signing up, patrons will have access to all of their e-library resources; ebooks, e-audiobooks, e-magazines, as well as access to online academic offerings through Mango Languages, Learning Express and Galileo. A physical library card will then be sent in the mail.

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