ROCKLAND — September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. It’s a time when the Rockland Public Library joins the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to encourage everyone to sign up for the most important card of all – a library card – at their local public library.

Rockland Public Library is a lively community center: a vital information resource and place to connect with others. The library provides access to an extensive physical collection and to an expanded collection via the shared systems, Minerva and MaineCat; in addition to books and DVDs, the library lends a thermal imaging camera, electricity usage monitor,  fitness kits, nature backpacks, telescope, binoculars, ukuleles, drums, and some other unexpected items. It offers access to downloadable audio- and eBooks, movies and television shows, and music, offers computers for access to, and assistance with, the internet and office productivity software, printing, scanning, and copying, free programs and events for the public, a self-service fax machine, assistance with patron-owned devices, and a notary public. Staff provide research assistance and help navigating online government forms. Internet access via Wi-Fi is available around the clock, even when the library is closed.

The open hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The used bookstore, the Friends of Rockland Public Library-run Book Stop, is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For those who do not wish to enter the building, staff continue curbside service upon request.

People who live in or own property in the city of Rockland are eligible for a “free” card, as Rockland property taxes support the operation of the library (and other City services). Coast Guard Personnel stationed in Rockland are eligible for a free card, with Coast Guard ID, and children as well as teachers in Knox County (through 12th grade) are also eligible for a free card.  The fee for any other child is $10.00 annually. Nonresident fees are $45 for an annual individual or family card and $25 for a 3-month card. To obtain a card, please bring a Photo ID & proof of current physical address (utility bill, lease agreement, piece of mail delivered by the USPS). Rockland Library is a City department; two support groups – the Rockland Public Library Endowment Association, and Friends of Rockland Public Library – also continue to provide robust support of time, energy, and funds.

If you haven’t been to the library in awhile (or have never visited), come in and check out the beautifully renovated building and see what the library has to offer. Throughout the month of September the first 100 current cardholders are invited to trade their old library cards in for a new card, complete with keychain card. From Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, the library will enter all new cardholders, as well as interested current cardholders, into a drawing for a library swag bag.

Librarians Jessie Blanchard and Patty King will be outside the Rockland Post Office on Wednesdays, 9/7 and 9/14 at 8:30 a.m. to share information and answer questions about the Library, as well as to sign people up for cards.

The library is located at 80 Union Street, Rockland. FMI call 594-0310.