September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. Across the country, libraries take this opportunity to remind people of the benefits of owning a library card, which can be life-changing. Libraries have been called the poor man’s university for the work they do bringing information to their patrons. Information can make you employable. It can save you money. It can save you time. It can make you more efficient. It can make the time you have more pleasurable.
All those who live in Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd or Wright Counties are entitled to a card from Great River Regional Library (GRRL), free of charge. The card can be used at 32 public libraries in those counties. To begin borrowing from the library, a person need only complete a library card application providing proof of identity and residency within the six counties.
Services available at all GRRL libraries include:
• Books: bestseller fiction and non-fiction, atlases, encyclopedias, manuals, etc.
• Children’s books, DVDs and music CDs
• Audiobooks: fiction and non-fiction on CD, on cassette, and downloadable
• Video on DVD and VHS: entertainment, documentary and foreign film
• CDs: rock, jazz, Christian, pop, classical
• The Digital Library with a growing collection of downloadable books and audiobooks
• Young Adult books for the teen reader
• Computer workstations and wireless Internet service
• Interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing from most other Minnesota public libraries
GRRL has a collection of more than 950,000 items shared among its 32 locations. Items can be reserved using the online catalog at the GRRL website, www.griver.org. Deliveries are made five days a week.
GRRL provides arts and cultural heritage programming such as music concerts, art classes and author talks using Legacy funding from the State of Minnesota. (Consult the Events page on the library website for programs in your area.)
Your card is already paid for. Approximately 70 percent of GRRL funding comes from county taxes, with some additional funding provided by state and federal sources. If you or other members of your family do not have a library card, stop by your closest GRRL location to get one. GRRL has branches in Albany, Annandale, Becker, Belgrade, Big Lake, Buffalo, Clearwater, Cokato, Cold Spring, Delano, Eagle Bend, Elk River, Foley, Grey Eagle, Howard Lake, Kimball, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Melrose, Monticello, Paynesville, Pierz, Richmond, Rockford, Royalton, St. Cloud, St. Michael, Sauk Centre, Staples, Swanville, Upsala, and Waite Park.