Williamson County Public Library Blog

What Good Is A Library Card?


By Lance Hickerson, Reference Department

Welcome to September, also known as National Library Card Sign-up Month.  And yes, I know that it feels like no matter where you go, everyone’s always trying to sell you something.  But don’t worry, I’m not going to try and sell anything, because library cards are FREE!  Bonus: we’ll also SAVE you money!  Typically, all you have to do to get a library card is live in the area.  And while there are thousands of books you can borrow, there’s also free computer use with access to software such as Microsoft Office and Abbey Finereader, amazing programs, use of highly useful databases, ebooks and audiobooks, and so much more.  Patrons of the library tell us they get much more from their cards than the privilege of checking out books.

Here are 12 comments we hear from time to time:

  1. I didn’t know my card could give me free online magazines from Zinio. That saves me going to the newsstand.
  2. You mean my card gives me free access to the Reference USA research database. That saves me money on my business prospecting plans.
  3. I like being able to get an older DVD free that I can’t even find in Redbox.
  4. Rosetta Stone was too expensive for me at the time, but your free online language program, Powerspeak Languages, helped me get ready to visit Spain.
  5. You mean I don’t have to pay $2.00 an hour to be on the computer? That’s neat you have free access.
  6. I like being able to use the library computer software. I don’t have a photo editing program so I used the basic Irfanview and worked my way into the more advanced Gimp photo editor, both on the library computer. I also used the library Powerpoint program to set up my presentation.
  7. We needed to scan our personal documents; the library made it easy, and it was free.
  8. I thought you only had a few electronic books to download on my ipad. I had been paying for ebooks the last two years. I will now be saving by using READS.
  9. We were going on a trip and wanted to listen to an audiobook. Most of the time we check out the library’s books on CD. But we just learned there are free electronic audio books too. We downloaded three and enjoyed them as we traveled across the country.
  10. I come to the library, check out the new books, and like the access to your HP printers. They are better than mine at home.
  11. I have a limit on my data downloads, so I use the free library Wifi to update my tablet.
  12. We recently got to visit the Dyer Observatory on the special night for library card holders. A great program.