September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, and the Selbyville Public Library, 11 S. Main St., will have events aimed at getting new members signed up for library cards and reducing overdue library book fees for existing members.

Library Director Kelly Kline said that the goal of the month is to bolster education through participation in the library and its support services.

“I want more people to be able to use library and to be aware of our services,” said Kline. “The library functions as an educational support, not only for young students, but for people of all ages.”

Kline said existing partnerships with teachers are beneficial for students, and she wants to take that further by getting more children signed up to check out books and other resources from the library. In concert with that concept, aiming to remove barriers that keep members from using cards will be a theme of the month as well.

One way the Selbyville Library is doing this is through the introduction of a new library card called “My First Card.” This is a special library card for children ages 5 years and younger, and it is a fine-free card. On the card, up to 12 juvenile items can be checked out at a time. Fees will be assessed if items are lost or damaged, but this card eliminates fines that sometimes keep people from using the library.

Another feature of the card is that it comes with a tracker card, which will be stamped each time the child visits the library. After 10 stamps, the young reader will earn a complementary growth chart.

The month is also aimed at getting current patrons who haven’t been to the library recently to come on back and take advantage! Sept. 4-8 will be “free library card replacement” week for students, which generally costs $2. Any students who have lost their card can come in and get a replacement free of charge that week. Then, on Sept. 11, it’s free check-in day. That day, anyone with an overdue item can check it in without a charge. It is not retroactive and won’t remove fines, but if you have a late item, that day they can be returned to the library free of charge.

For members who generated fees on their cards, the Selbyville Library has a few days in store to help alleviate costs while also helping the community. The first happens on Sept. 18, and it’s called “Food for Fines.” For every canned good or nonperishable item people bring in, they will get $1 toward alleviating any fines they have accumulated on their accounts. Food must be in date in original packaging, and this is only for current fines.

On Sept. 25, the library will hold a similar event, but this time for pets. “Pet food for Fines” will benefit the Brandywine Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and participants can bring in pet food in exchange for fine alleviation. Patrons will receive $1 off of their existing fines for each pound or can of pet food they bring.

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