September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. And I encourage anybody who doesn't have a library card to get one. But just as important, if you already have a library card -- use it.
A card gives you access to the more than 200,000 books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs and video games in the Mentor Public Library's collection.
But that's just a fraction of what your library card allows you to do.
You can take online classes with Learn4Life. (The classes include everything from computer programming to English as a second language to fiction writing. It's worth a look.)
You can download eBooks and eAudiobooks with OverDrive and digital magazines with Zinio.
You can download free music and even music videos from Freegal -- more than 7 million songs are available from more than 28,000 record labels, including Sony. And once you download a mp3 or mp4, you can keep it forever. Put it on your iPod, listen to it from on your phone, burn it to a CD, whatever you want. It's yours.
You can stream thousands of independent films via IndieFlix and soon you'll be able to stream even more movies, music and audiobooks to your mobile devices and computer via Hoopla.
You can still borrow books, movies and music from libraries all around the state using OhioLINK.
And your card also gives you access to dozens of databases with information on topics from auto repair to local history to case law.
Most importantly, a library card -- and everything that comes with it -- is free.
It's easy. You can do it at our circulation desk.
Adults, you're going to need a current photo ID, such as an Ohio Driver’s License or State of Ohio ID card, with your current address. If your photo ID doesn't have your current address, a personal check, utility bill, envelope or post card with a recent postmark showing your current address will do.
Meanwhile, kids need their guardian's signature to get a card. Adults assume responsibility for their children's borrowing privileges.
One quick note: If you're not an Ohio resident, you must give a $10 deposit to get a card. You will receive the deposit back once you produce an Ohio form of photo ID. Or, if you aren't moving to Ohio, you will receive your deposit back when all materials and the library card are returned.
You can also get a temporary card online that allows you to place up to five holds on items in the Mentor Public Library catalog.
If you have any questions, visit any of the Mentor Public Library's branches and you'll find people eager to help you get your library card.
And, if you already have a card, get out there and give it a workout.
For more information on Mentor Public Library and its services, visit www.mentorpl.org.