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Poché: The library is a temple of learning: Come get your key to the temple and its many treasures  

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. The American Library Association’s annual campaign to encourage patrons to enroll for a library card began nearly 30 years ago.  Signing up for a library card at the St. John the Baptist Parish Library System is an easy process.  Patrons who meet the criteria, such as being a resident of the parish, own parish property, work in the parish or enrolled in school within the parish, may apply for a card.

A library is a temple of learning, and a library card is the key that unlocks a treasure chest full of knowledge and information. Library card users have a multitude of privileges that they can take full advantage of with their cards, such as checking out books, e-books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and other materials.

Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” characters Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and friends are joining ALA on an adventure to promote the value of a library card.  They’ll be reminding the public that signing up for a library card opens a world of infinite possibilities: libraries offer resources and services that help people pursue their passions and give students the tools to succeed in school and beyond.

All branches of the library system will be participating in Library Card Sign-Up Month.  A “Toy Story 4 Forky Craft” will be made at all library branches and a display of why library cards are so important will also be featured.  Please stop by or call your local branch to learn more about the festivities.

Banned Books Week is celebrated from Sept. 23 – 29.  It is the national book community’s annual celebration of the Freedom to Read.  Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. According to the American Library Association, more than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. There were 311 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2018 and many more go unreported.

To celebrate Banned Books Week, the Roland Borne Sr. Memorial Library (Edgard) will host an Adult Coloring Page program at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, a Mugshot event at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 for tweens and teens, and a Banned Book Week Crossword Puzzle program at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 for children ages 6 and up.  The Norris J. Millet, Sr. Library (Central) will host a Banned Books Week Display/Selfie Station from Sept. 23 – 26.  Please stop by and participate.

Playaway launchpads are now available for check out at the Norris J. Millet, Sr. Library (Central) in the Children’s Book Bayou area.  They will be available at our other library locations in the near future.  The playaways contain preloaded lessons for children from ages 3 to 10.  Kids will develop hand-eye coordination, discover various phonetic sounds, practice letters and basic math skills, and learn to tell time.  They will also be able to build, create, and be amazed with puzzles and games that strengthens critical thinking, math, engineering, and creativity.  The launchpads can sharpen fine motor skills and expand vocabulary.  Patrons please take advantage of this brand new service.  They will be available for check out for up to three weeks.

There will be a multitude of programs at each library branch for the month of September.  For a full list, please refer to our online calendar on our website (stjohn.lib.la.us), Facebook (St. John the Baptist Parish Library) or pick up a newsletter at any of our four branches.  I hope you all can attend some of the spectacular programs offered at St. John the Baptist Parish Libraries.

Also, don’t forget that St. John the Baptist Parish Libraries now have a Twitter (@stjohnlib4) and Instagram (stjohnparishlib) account.  Please follow us and like us!

Kearston Poché is the administrative services coordinator for St. John the Baptist Parish Library. She can be reached at 985-652-6587.