What comes with a Stark Library card? Free books, movies, experts, tech devices

"One can never have too many library cards!"

I love these words of wisdom, spoken by a 10-year-old girl who was getting her first library card from one of our Stark Library bookmobiles. She already had two library cards from other libraries, but she wanted to be able to access all the wonderful possibilities available to her from Stark Library.

I can relate to this young lady, as I, too, got my first library card many years ago from my local library's bookmobile.

Each year in September, libraries across the country celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month to draw attention to all the valuable resources that libraries offer to their communities. The theme of our campaign this year is "Get Carded and SAVE!" As we all battle rising prices everywhere we look, I wanted to let you know some of the ways you can save with your library card.

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Library card benefit No. 1: Free streaming

For instance, did you know that you can stream TV, movies, music and more with your Library card?

Say good riddance to amazonian-priced streaming services and watch your favorite movies and TV shows with Hoopla. Are documentaries your jam? Then Kanopy is for you.

Do you like to "listen" to your books? Access tens of thousands of titles with our Libby app. Think of how much you can save on those pricey subscription services with your library card.

Sondra Easterly returns books to shelves in the children's section of the Stark Library main branch in Canton in this file photo from December 2021.
Sondra Easterly returns books to shelves in the children's section of the Stark Library main branch in Canton in this file photo from December 2021.

Library card benefit No. 2: Tech devices

What word first comes to mind when you hear the word "library?" Books, of course.

But at Stark Library, we are so much more than books. Take the internet with you anywhere when you borrow a WiFi hotspot. Reduce your power bill with a Kill-A-Watt electricity monitor. Test your home's radon levels or air quality with a radon detector or air quality monitor. Host a big-screen movie night at home when you borrow a digital projector. The best part about it is that it's all free with your library card.

Do you have a device but need help learning how to use it? Book an expert at the library. Make an appointment with our tech experts who can help you with your smartphone, tablet, or computer. They can even show you how to access the library's free streaming services from your device.

Library card benefit No. 3: Free magazines

I know that magazine headlines often capture my attention when I'm in the checkout line at the grocery store – but the pricetag usually stops me.

However, the library has thousands of magazines I can choose from, including sports, home improvement, cooking, pets, crafting, and more. Stop breaking the bank with costly magazines and get a library card instead.

Library card benefit No. 4: Job and career help

If you're looking for the next step in your career path, start your journey at the library.

Develop new skills that employers are looking for with courses on LinkedIn Learning. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts for help with updating your resume, sharpening your interview skills, or navigating those difficult-to-understand online job search services. This fall, we're hosting a "Human Library" at Main Library, where you can meet individuals from all walks of life and career paths to help you find your passion.

Library card benefit No. 5: Free books for kids

Studies show that when kids have books at home, they are more successful in school and in life.

Through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, every child in Stark County is eligible to get a book in the mail each month, from birth until the are 5 years old ― at no cost to their family. I am so grateful to Dolly and her passion to inspire a love of reading in today’s children. Remember, today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

Library card benefit No. 6: Trace your family roots

Discovering your ancestral roots is an exciting endeavor ― and our genealogists are here to help. With their expertise and the resources and information available at the library, you can build out your family tree for many generations.

You can even access Ancestry.com at the library ― free with your library card, of course.

I've barely scratched the surface of what we have to offer you at Stark Library. There's a world of adventure awaiting you — and getting your library card is the very first step. Plus, when you sign up for a new library card during September, you'll be entered into a drawing to win a prize package that includes free tickets to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Get your library card today at https://starklibrary.org/getacard.

I hope to see you very soon at the library!

Mary Ellen Icaza is CEO and executive director of the Stark Library.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Stark Library celebrates Library Card Sign-Up Month