A public library card opens doors for you and helps you do more of what you enjoy, including reading, diving into a new hobby, getting the job you want, or sparking your creativity.
It can also help students be successful with homework and research tools for all grade levels. A library card is an essential school supply and the one card from which everyone at any age will benefit!
The American Library Association and public libraries work together every September to make sure children, teens and adults have their very own library card during National Library Card Sign-up Month.
The library offers free access to services and resources that would normally cost hundreds of dollars. Find out how much money a library card can save you with this library value calculator, at https://ilovelibraries.org/what-libraries-do/calculator.
Here are 10 things a library card can do for you:
1. Access to 2.3 million books, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music, games and online resources: Visit any Santa Clara County Library District location and check out books, movies and even console games for all ages. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, our staff can help locate it. You can also visit our website, browse our catalog and put a title on hold. It will be delivered to whichever library or bookmobile stop is most convenient for you.
2. Download eBooks, audiobooks, and eMagazines: With almost 120,000 titles to choose from, you can use your library card to check out eBooks and audiobooks instantly available in English and Spanish. Libby also has eMagazines available in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, French and Korean.
3. Free entry to a California state park: Each SCCLD library has a limited number of California state park passes that can be checked out for free entry for one passenger vehicle to more than 200 California state parks!
4. Homework help: HelpNow, by Brainfuse, offers homework help and tutoring on any subject with an online tutor from 1 to 10 p.m. every day. Spanish-speaking tutors are also available.
5. Job help and learning new skills: Job search, resume writing, interview tips, live tutoring and skill building are offered through the Brainfuse JobNow. For veterans transitioning into civilian life, VetNow provides live assistance, resources and more for veterans and their families. For people who need help with a professional exam, the career preparation center by LearningExpress offers occupational practice tests on a variety of topics.
If you need to brush up on tech and business skills, LinkedIn Learning offers more than 14,000 courses. Treehouse is an online video learning platform teaching coding and web development skills. CodeCombat is a fantasy game teaching coding skills to kids ages 9 and over.
6. Discover & Go: This museum pass program offers library users the ability to reserve free or discounted admission passes to more than 50 museums and cultural attractions throughout the greater Bay Area.
7. Mindfulness: Your SCCLD library account grants free access to Headspace. It’s meditation made simple with an app designed for busy, modern lives to learn the essentials of mindfulness in just a few minutes a day. Find hundreds of guided meditations on a variety of topics, from stress and sleep to focus and performance.
8. Explore your family history: SCCLD offers a number of genealogical resources, including the popular Ancestry Library. This database includes records from the U.S. Census, military records, vital and church records, directors, passenger lists and more. In addition, DigitalReel provides access to SCCLD’s microfilm collection or historical local newspapers — some dating back to 1895!
9. Get your high school diploma and improve your reading skills: Did you know that adults have the opportunity to earn their high school diploma by completing the career online high school program in as few as five months? In a program offered through the library, successful candidates will earn their high school diploma with course work completed online at their own pace.
Or maybe you’re an adult looking to improve basic reading, writing and speaking skills in English? Your library card can get you started with free one-on-one tutoring through the reading program.
10. Stream movies and music: Watch movies and music at home or anywhere you have internet access. Kanopy offers documentaries, classic and indie films and shows. Kids have an unlimited number of streams through Kanopy Kids, which offers animated storybooks, classic fairy tales and more. Music lovers can download or stream more than 13 million songs from around the world using Freegal. For those who enjoy classical musical performances including concerts, operas, and ballet, check out Medici.TV.
Need help getting started? Our librarians are available in person at our libraries, or by text, phone or email. You can also visit the Online library help page for video tutorials and guides.
The Santa Clara County Library District serves the communities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and all unincorporated portions of Santa Clara County.
A Santa Clara County Library District library card is valid at any of our eight locations and the Bookmobile. The best part: It’s free and when you sign up at one of our libraries, you can get a free gift (while supplies last)! Visit any of our locations today to get your full-use library card to borrow anything from our physical and online libraries or visit our website to get your e-card, good for borrowing anything from our online library!
Mariana Walker is an associate communications officer for the Santa Clara County Library District who shares library and county news via newsletters, social media, press releases, email, text, blogs, collateral, advertising, videos, sccld.org, and more. With a goal is to read 100 books in 2023, she’s now on Nos. 63 and 64, currently reading “The Girl in His Shadow” and listening to “Carrie Soto is Back.” Her favorite book is “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig.