CHATHAM, NJ - Library of The Chathams wants to make sure that everyone in Chatham Borough and Chatham Township has the smartest card of all – a library card.

September is Library Card Signup Month, a time when Library of The Chathams joins with the American Library Association and libraries nationwide to make sure that everyone has a free library card. Today’s libraries offer a world of information and learning for all ages and stages.

Studies have shown that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school.

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“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” Chatham Library Director Karen Brodsky said. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and story times to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs and for older teens we have information and tools to help prepare for college and mentoring programs.”

Today’s libraries aren’t just a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where members of the community can collaborate using new technologies, enjoy music and film programs, or just relax with peers.

“Library cards are a great way to connect with your community,” James Keehbler, president of the New Jersey Library Association, said. “New Jersey libraries are partnering with schools, local businesses and community groups to offer innovative programming and resources. Getting a card is easy, and you’ll be able to take advantage of all your local library has to offer.”

Observed since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month is an annual celebration where the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA), the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country remind people to sign up, renew, or use their library cards.

For more information and to take part in the fun, visit Library of The Chathams at 214 Main Street, call 973-635-0603 or visit the library online at www.chathamlibrary.org.