Guest Column: It’s never too late to get your first library card

Published 10:00 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

Guest Column by Annice Sevett

Annice Sevett is the assistant library director at the Albert Lea Public Library.

On a late August afternoon, Donald Viktora walked into the Albert Lea Public Library to get his first library card at age 90. After owning a construction business in Hollandale and keeping busy with children, grandchildren and woodworking, he decided it was time to take advantage of the resources the library has to offer. His enthusiasm for obtaining the card touched us.

Annice Sevett

Every year, the American Library Association celebrates Library Card Sign-up Month during September as a reminder that a library card opens up endless possibilities and contributes to academic achievement, lifelong learning and connecting people with their passions. We at the Albert Lea Public Library believe a library card is the smartest card in your wallet.

Traditionally thought of as a place for books, the Albert Lea Public Library offers much more, though we have plenty of books for everyone’s tastes. We have early literacy resources to support younger children and resources for older students to help with academic success. The library offers activities throughout the year for children and families. We have a large offering of programs for adults that encourage exploration and lifelong learning.

The Albert Lea Public Library serves everyone in our community. Cardholders have access to check out materials and use our online resources. You can take out a hotspot or use our computers. You can stay connected to the community and the world by reading our newspapers or magazines. You can dive into the exciting world of 3-D printing or explore your artistic side at one of our programs.

Studies show that public libraries play an important role in fostering literacy and developing literacy skills. The use of the library has been shown to contribute to academic success. For adults, the library provides resources for all stages of life. All Minnesota residents are eligible for an Albert Lea Public Library card starting at age 3. Stop by or check us out online at www.alplonline.org to learn what you need to get a library card to start taking advantage of everything we have to offer. September may be over, but we issue new library cards anytime we are open.

As we went around town taking pictures for our monthlong promotion, we heard many stories about how the library has touched lives or provided lifelong memories — parents who attended storytime and now bring their children here, children who love coming to programs and adults who use the library regularly to check out materials. Whatever your library story may be or whatever your reason for using the library, we are here to provide you with the books you want, the information you need and a connection to the community you live in.

After getting his first library card at age 90, Donald Viktora has been back a few times to get more materials and plans to continue coming to the library as long as he can. His enthusiasm is still evident when he comes back for something new to read. Donald has proven to us, and to everyone, that it’s never too late to get your first library card.