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Published: Wednesday, 8/29/2007

Monroe County libraries to promote variety of services in September

The Monroe County Library System is promoting September as a library-friendly month to try to get students and families into their stacks with the start of school.

Nancy Colpaert, director of the library system, says a lot more is happening at the library than residents may imagine. "Kids can come to the library to get homework help and check out books, but they can also check out free music, DVDs, and use the Internet to make after-school life a little more fun."

The county library system is heralding September as Library Card Sign-Up Month and is calling the library card "the smartest card of all" in their promotions.

"Make sure that your child is among the two-thirds of Americans that carry the smartest card," a promotion states.

"With a library card, students can search for and request materials from the online catalog in the comfort of their own homes."

A recent American Library Association survey found that 44 percent of respondents reported that their families use libraries to spend time together.

Also starting in September, the paper card catalog will be pounded a little bit deeper into its grave.

Monroe County's online catalog will become easier to navigate, allowing users to narrow their online searches, put books on hold, select which branch they would like to use to pick books up, and request books from other libraries statewide, Ms. Colpaert said.

Ms. Colpaert said reference librarians are valuable assets who can help students and adults effectively search the Internet for reliable information.

Ms. Colpaert said her staff is working to allow patrons to pay overdue fines online.

And beginning Sept. 9, two of the library system's 15 branches will be open Sundays from noon until 5 p.m.

Bedford Branch Library, 8575 Jackman Rd., and Monroe's Ellis Reference & Information Center, 3700 South Custer Rd., were the two libraries chosen for the Sunday hours.

Anyone who lives, owns property, works, or goes to school in the county is eligible for a free library card. Cards are also available to nonresidents at the annual rate of $100.

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