Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) is offering ninth-grade students a chance to win an Xbox One when they sign up for a library card during this month. The process for signing up for a library card takes about 90 seconds and the program runs Sept. 1-30. “We wanted the teenagers to understand that […]
Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) is offering ninth-grade students a chance to win an Xbox One when they sign up for a library card during this month.
The process for signing up for a library card takes about 90 seconds and the program runs Sept. 1-30.
“We wanted the teenagers to understand that we know who they are and we know what they like,” said Michelle Hamiel, associate director for public service for the library system. “We want to be relevant to them.”
Students must live in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia or Maryland and have a photo ID with proof of address in order to participate. Students age 17 or younger are able to apply for a student library card without being accompanied by a parent. The student library card allows holders to borrow up to three items and access online services and library computers.
“We know that a library card is a way to show our community our facility services. Hopefully everyone in the county would want to have a card,” said Robin Jacobsen Director of Community Engagement for PGCMLS. “We’ve surpassed the 50 percent mark which is great news. My hope is that we can get to the 100 percent mark because we want everybody to have a card.”
Students who sign up for a free library card will have access to all resources available at the public library.
“They will be introduced to all of our databases which are free,” Hamiel said. “They will be introduced to all of the research databases. They will be introduced to all the library services. Some of our databases are not accessible without a library card. It also gives them free access to our computers.”
Hamiel said using the library is about more than learning to read—it’s about giving students a place to study and work on their homework.
“When the children get to high school, very often that’s the first time they have to do research papers,” Hamiel said. “It’s the first time they have to do extended essays and they aren’t always prepared. And they don’t know that they can use the library. So many of them want to use Google. We want them to know that we have valued sources that we have taken a look at …We want to make sure they are equipped with the tools to do their research, enrich their minds and be successful.”
The month-long program came at a cost for PGCMLS because they had to purchase the free gifts for the students and the grand prize.