September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, and to celebrate, the Mansfield Richland County Public Library (MRCPL) has added several new perks of owning a library card.
Most of these added benefits are non-traditional, meaning the library is so much more than checking out books and movies.
Now available for checkout with a card are bicycles, WiFi hotspots, Kindle Fires, telescopes, blood pressure monitor kits, cake pans, and more.
Jean Ruark, the Communications Coordinator for the MRCPL, spoke about the many benefits of having a library card.
“It offers so much,” she said. “Having a library card gives you access to entertainment, education, and information. I really believe that having a library card opens the world for people.”
This world includes those non-traditional benefits like telescopes to things the library has always and will continue to offer, like access to other libraries’ collections through the SearchOhio database as well as academic library collections through OhioLINK.
“There are databases for fun as well,” said Ruark. “We offer streaming services for movies, TV shows, music, and downloadable magazines, all from home or outside the library walls.”
Beginning September 11, the Mansfield Richland County Public Library will also offer a career online high school for adults who didn’t finish high school.
“Through the online high school, adults will get a diploma they can then use to go on to technical school or college, or they start a career with their new degree,” said Ruark.
The library has also revamped their Teacher Card. Previously, the Teacher Card was only open to teachers in Richland County, but now, any teacher at any school or that homeschools in Ohio can take advantage of the many benefits the Teacher Card offers.
With the Teacher Card, any book, CD, and audiobook can be checked out for nine weeks. All fines are forgiven, and teachers can check out informational DVDs for four weeks.
Stephanie Blackstone, a teacher at Central Elementary in Lexington, has been teaching second grade for 20 years. She couldn’t imagine what teaching would be like if she didn’t have a teacher card with the MRCPL.
“I’d be lost if I didn't have a teacher card,” she said. “It was one of the very first things I did when I started teaching.”
After getting the teacher card, she hasn’t looked back.
“I just call the library and they can get me pretty much any book I want,” she said. “Between the nine branches and INFOhio, they have just about everything.”
Blackstone recommends all teachers get the Teacher Card.
“It makes your life so much simpler,” she said. “Instead of searching in bookstores or online, just call the library and they’ll find what you need for you. The librarians are the most helpful people.”
Even if you are not a teacher, you can still enjoy all the benefits the library has to offer.
“At the library, there is something for everyone,” said Ruark. “There are book clubs for all ages, infant and preschool story time, and fun programs for both adults and teens. A library card opens all of that.”
Come visit one of the nine locations of the Mansfield Richland County Public Library today and sign up for a library card to open a new world and see all the benefits for yourself.