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Library notes: What’s in my wallet? A state library card!

By Melissa J. Oleen
Rowan Public Library

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-Up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, libraries across the United States work to ensure everyone signs-up for their own library card. Providing free access to STEAM programs/activities, test prep courses and study guides, research resources for all grade levels, virtual homework help in addition to a quality collection of print materials, a Rowan Public Library card is one of the most cost effective, back to school supplies available.

In celebration of Library-Card Sign-up Month, RPL is offering superhero-themed virtual programs, curbside Superhero Take Away Kits (shoutout to Chick-Fil-A of Salisbury for providing the bags) and an exclusive RPL merch bag for new cardholders.

The pandemic has not impacted how one can apply for an RPL card. Call 980-432-8670, fill out the application online at bit.ly/RPLcard2020 or visit your favorite RPL branch.

But wait! There is another library card every North Carolina citizen should have in their wallet — a State Library of North Carolina (SLNC) library card.  SLNC is the principal library of North Carolina government. The SLNC card is issued through the Government & Heritage Library (GHL), a division within SLNC. GHL’s mission is to preserve and facilitate public access to state government information and provide library resources and services that support the operational needs of state government agencies.

With a SLNC card, North Carolina residents can borrow items from their circulating collection and access many databases remotely. GHL offers extensive information about North Carolina’s cultural heritage, genealogy, and demographics with numerous viewable source documents. Online resources currently accessible using a SLNC card include BioOne (resources on biological, ecological and environmental sciences), JSTOR (12 million academic journals articles, books and primary sources in 75 disciplines), FOLD3 (military records), and African-American Biographical Database. One pandemic perk, Ancestry Library Edition, the world’s most popular online genealogy resource, is temporarily available through Sept. 30.

My favorite component of the GHL website is online access to trial databases. User feedback helps GHL determine whether or not to subscribe to a trial database. Right now, you can test out Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law: A collection of legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This online resource includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. NewsBank Raleigh News & Observer Historic and Current Collection and Charlotte Observer Historic and Current Collection are also available as trial databases.

A state issued identification card is required to complete your registration and receive your state library card. To apply, visit www.statelibrary.ncdcr.gov and click on Government & Heritage Library or call 919-814-6790 for assistance. Tell them Rowan Public Library referred you.

Melissa Oleen is director of Rowan Public Library.

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