From the Beacon: Get the best "reward" card out there

Special to Lowcountry LifeSeptember 9, 2012 

It's that time of year when we recoup from the hot summer months and settle back into our daily routines. Fall and winter are right around the corner, and the festive holiday season will be here before you know it. That's why librarians set aside September as Library Card Sign-Up Month. With so many free resources to offer, you might need a library card now more than ever.

Library Card Sign-Up Month is a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind citizens that a library card is the most important card you'll ever need. Not only is it the most essential back-to-school supply for students and parents, but it's also the most rewarding of all "rewards" cards on the market today. If you don't have a library card, perhaps you are not aware of all of the things a library card allows you to do.

You can get a library card in three quick and easy steps:

1. Visit a Beaufort County Library branch. We have locations in Beaufort, Bluffton, Dale and Lobeco, and on Hilton Head and St. Helena islands.

2. Fill out a library card application form.

3. Provide proof of current residency in Beaufort County.

Books are not the only reason to have a library card. The library offers computers for cardholders to use and the library's website is a portal to all kinds of information. Your library card provides access to a variety of online databases that allow you to research subjects from health to business to auto repair and literature. In fact, cardholders can now download free eBooks using 3M Cloud Library. Don't forget, our libraries are stocked with current and classic DVDs, TV series and audio books for your viewing and listening pleasure.

As an added bonus, your library card can get you books through SCLends, our state consortium of libraries. If your library branch doesn't have the item you want, we can find it in an SCLends library and have it sent to your branch for pickup.

As if free books, online resources and public computers weren't enough, our library programs are where you really start to see the significant value. Our branches offer book clubs, movie screenings, computer classes, and workshops you can take. Check the program offerings on our website,

Library cards are free and can even save you money. For more information, see any of the librarians at the Beaufort County library branch near you.

Amanda Brewer is the reference librarian at the Bluffton library, 120 Palmetto Way.

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