September marks Library Card Sign-up Month


The value of today’s libraries goes beyond books. Librarians are leaders in their communities – helping people of any age to find what they need to help improve their quality of life. This September, the Canyon Lake Library is joining with the American Library Association and libraries nationwide for Library Card Sign-up Month, an initiative to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card.

Libraries build a foundation for children’s future success starting from the earliest stages of development. Librarians play a key role in helping children develop the basic tools for school readiness by teaching families the components of early literacy.

As new technologies evolve, libraries continue to lead the way in providing equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet service at home.

Resources at the Canyon Lake Library are available to anyone in the library, however, a library card is needed to take the items home for use or to use the many helpful services available through the Riverside County Library System (RCLS) webpage if not at a RCLS library branch.

Students can turn to the library for books and programs but also for tutoring through the on-line service Brainfuse or high school volunteer program.  Scholastic Go is an engaging online age-appropriate reference resource to help build a love of research and is available from home when doing assignments. The World Book Web is also available.

For teens, adults returning to school or life-long learns, the RCLS site contains Gale Databases such as InfoTrac General Reference Center Gold containing periodical, newspaper and reference articles from over 5,000 publications on such diverse topics as humanities, art, current events, technology and general interest topics. Full-text articles from over 3,000 periodicals can be searched by subject or publication.  Newspaper articles are available and searchable in Info Trac Newstand.

If you’re studying a language Scholastic Go has links for online newspapers across the world; ¡Informe! contains magazine articles from a variety of Spanish language publications on health, science, economics, politics and art; and Pronunciator, the world’s largest language learning service is available free to use through the RCLS library card.

If studying health subjects or even learning more about your own challenges Health and  Wellness Resource Center contains periodical and journal articles as well as videos on a wide range of health topics. Also, Health Reference Center is available to card holders. This is a full service resource for health-related research.

“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” said Canyon Lake Library Manager and Librarian Sandra Brautigam. “For preschool-age children, we offer early literacy resources and storytimes to encourage school readiness. We have the Writing Club for middle school students, GED resources for have the Writing Club. For nontraditional students, we have GED resources; and for life-long-learners we carry a variety of resources in traditional and digital formats. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”

In the RCLS the first card is free for California residents and a replacement is only $1. Identification must be provided for adults and a current address proven.  In lieu of a driver’s license or identification card, customers may bring two pieces of information which establish their name and mailing address.  Out of state driver’s licenses are acceptable with proof of a California residence.  Acceptable identifications include Medicare card, military ID, student ID, passport and voter registration card.  If the identification contains the current address, such as a driver’s license or California ID card, that is enough.

Verification of address may be made with a Utility bill or personal mail with a mail date within the past 30 days, rental agreement or personalized checks.  A person 16 or older may acquire an adult card with proper identification.

A child’s card requires the written permission of a parent or legal guardian with identification and current address.  RCLS does not set minimums for age of a card holder.  That is determined by the responsible parent or guardian who signs for the card.

For more information about how to sign up for a library card, visit the Canyon Lake Library or any convenient RCLS branch. Locations are listed at