Books Galore and So Much More: Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month at Live Oak Public Libraries

Coinciding with the return to school for students across America, September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. It’s a special time to recognize the treasures that libraries bring to the communities they serve. Live Oak Public Libraries encourage the community to celebrate by visiting and discovering all of the wonderful resources waiting to be explored at local libraries. Library cards are free to Georgia residents, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of everything the library has to offer. 

To celebrate the special month, Live Oak libraries are currently running a fee amnesty and food drive program called Food for Fines. This program will allow local libraries to accept canned food donations as an alternative form of payment for patrons with overdue fees. Live Oak libraries are promoting this program to remove barriers to access and encourage locals to return to the library. 

“[People] will be able to give us a canned food item in lieu of money, and they’ll be able to do that for up to 15 items or $30, whichever is more. And they will be able to renew their library cards or get another library card if it’s been some time. Sometimes that can be an obstacle. And ever since covid, we have been exploring ways to reduce obstacles,” said Interim Library Executive Director Lola Shelton-Council.

Another thing Live Oak is doing to make local libraries more accessible is their Student PLAY Program. Through this program, public school students in Chatham, Effingham, and soon in Liberty county, are granted free, automatic access to library resources using their student lunch number. And there are no overdue fines for these accounts. 

click to enlarge Books Galore and So Much More: Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month at Live Oak Public Libraries
The Bull Street Library

“One of the most powerful things a student can have is library [access] to help them with their homework and any projects that they may have,” she explained.

The library is primarily known as a place to borrow books, but it has so much more to offer to inquisitive minds. In addition to checking out books, cardholders can check out laptops and wifi hotspots. They can get passes to state parks, Telfair museums and even the Atlanta Zoo. Library visitors can also stream movies through digital cards. And there are a host of digital resources available through Live Oak Public Libraries as well. These resources include ACT, SAT and AP exam prep, Tutor.com, Ancestry.com and Mango Languages courses among others.

There are also several programs offered at the library to help visitors learn and grow. There are STEM sessions and GED workshops as well as yoga classes and family movie nights. The library fosters lifelong learning, and the Live Oak team wants the public to take advantage of all resources available at local libraries. To that end, they have partnered with local organizations to uplift and inspire the community. Live Oak is working with the United Way, Future Minds and Resilient Georgia to increase reading literacy for K-8 students. 

“Being literate leads to being able to get a good job, which means you can make a good wage . . . so that you can have a good home and take care of yourself and your family. Being literate leads to being able to have a good life,” Shelton-Council said.

Furthermore, the libraries have partnered with Resilient Georgia to become a trauma-informed library, which aligns with Live Oak’s mission to build a resilient and enriched community. The libraries have also teamed up with Sulfur Studios to host different art exhibits at various locations. And a partnership with Savannah Philharmonic is also in the works. 

Shelton-Council implores community members to come out and explore all of the special opportunities the library offers.

“No matter where you are going, the library is here for you. It can take you where your imagination wants to take you. You can discover your voice here. You can create your future here. If you’re trying to begin a new chapter in your life, you can start your story here. If you’re trying to find a new job, you can fill out applications or search for jobs here,” she explained. “Anything that you’re trying to do, you can find it here at the library because we’re all about literacy across the board: cultural, health, financial, reading and digital literacy. We have something here at the library that addresses every one of those things,” she continued. 

Take some time this month to see what’s in store for you at your local library. For more information, visit Live Oak Public Libraries online at liveoakpl.org/.

About The Author

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton is a compelling storyteller with an ever-growing curiosity. She's built a rewarding writing career for herself in addition to serving five years as a Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. She's an NPR nerd with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and adventure. She...
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