This September is Library Card Sign-Up Month sponsored by our libraries and the American Library Association (ALA). It is a time to remember that a library card is a critical step on the path to lifelong learning.

A library card opens a world of infinite possibilities through resources and services that give library customers of all ages the tools to succeed in school and beyond. Your libraries in the Umatilla County Special Library District (UCSLD) provide early literacy and family story times, teen programs, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programs, high-quality and popular books, videos and audiobooks. And, there is more.

When you get a library card at your local library — Adams, Athena, Echo, Helix, Hermiston, Milton-Freewater, Pendleton, Pilot Rock, Stanfield, Ukiah, Umatilla or Weston — you have access to not only your home library but also all of the libraries in Umatilla County (www.ucsld.org).

Additionally, your library is a member of the Sage Library System and you have access to “a library consortium of public, school, academic, and special libraries throughout 15 counties of Eastern and Central Oregon” (www.sagelib.org).

Your library card also provides free access to the ebooks and audiobooks of the Library2Go program of the Oregon Digital Library Consortium (https://library2go.overdrive.com). Check at your local library for tips and tricks to download them to your own device.

In addition, your free library card gives you access to the following services:

•The internet at your library’s public computers or through complimentary wifi

•Online, electronic databases of high quality information, vetted by research librarians and experts in the field (www.galepages.com/umatillacsld)

•Fun programs that bring families and communities together, like book clubs, craft gatherings, movie nights

•Local history collections, genealogy and family history resources

•Community meeting rooms

•Magazines and newspapers

•Children’s play areas

•The Summer Reading Program, helping students retain their reading skills over the summer

•And wonderful library staff who are ready to help

If you already have a library card, go check out your library and see what’s new. You can access the websites of all of the UCSLD member libraries at this website address: www.ucsld.org/index.php/member%20libraries.

If you don’t have a library card yet, visit your local library in person or online to find out how to get this valuable treasure and make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun.

Here are a few programs coming up at the Umatilla Public Library:

•Sept. 6, 1 p.m. — Umatilla Public Pop-up Library during Kiwanis Park Ribbon Cutting at Kiwanis Park, Umatilla

•Sept 10, 5 p.m. — Umatilla Public Pop-up Library at the Master Trail Plan Ribbon Cutting at Umatilla City Hall

•Sept. 13, 3 p.m. — “Toy Story” movie and snacks at the Umatilla Public Library

•Sept. 20, 3 p.m. — “Toy Story 2” movie and snacks at the Umatilla Public Library

•Sept 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Outdoor book sale and Umatilla Public Pop-up Library at Village Square Park

•Sept. 27, 3 p.m. — “Toy Story 3” movie and snacks at the Umatilla Public Library

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Erin McCusker is the district director of the Umatilla County Special Library District. Read her column, Libraries Provide – Countywide!, the last weekend of the month. Contact McCusker at 541-276-6449 or director@ucsld.org.

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