September is national Library Card Sign-up Month, and Berks County libraries are joining the celebration by offering a new, limited-edition card design as part of the county library system’s 35th Anniversary. The anniversary celebration highlights library achievements over the last 35 years and looks to educate the public on what their library has to offer.
The Library System Evolution
Since its establishment in 1986, the Berks County Public Library System has been helping transform local communities through excellent library service. The library system began with twelve member libraries from around Berks County and continued to grow over the years, reaching its current membership in 2004 with the inclusion of Spring Township Library.
Berks libraries have always been community-driven, adding numerous resources and offerings to better serve patrons. Some notable additions include:
- The first countywide summer reading program (1987)
- Intra-library van delivery (1996)
- Inclusion of electronic media (2000)
- Installation of assistive technologies (2001)
- Addition of Early Literacy Stations (2008)
Libraries—A Changing Image
Library Card Sign-up Month always serves as a reminder to parents, caregivers, and students that the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning is with a library card. However, this year, Berks County Public Libraries are looking to change the outdated perception of libraries as just book lenders.
“We’re not the same libraries from 1986,” said Amy Resh, system administrator of Berks County Public Libraries. “We still have the same drive and dedication to make information freely accessible to everyone, but the tools and resources we provide have grown exponentially.”
Berks County Public Library cardholders can borrow from a shared countywide collection of over 900,000 items including specialty equipment like glasses for colorblindness and tactile, Braille learning kits. Library goers can also participate in a wide variety of programs designed to educate and inspire. Young learners can try their hands at simplified robotics or engineering puzzles while teens and adults can attend DIY classes for beginner hobbyists and informational sessions on life topics such as retirement and financial planning.
“Libraries will continue to adapt and expand services to meet the evolving needs of our communities,” explained Resh. “There’s something for everyone at their library.”
To sign up for a library card or to learn more about library resources, visit www.berksllibraries.org or stop by your local library. The limited-edition anniversary cards are available while supplies last.